Monday, 29 July 2013

Washington, Carlsbad day 1: Stosur in trouble

Washington schedule:

Carlsbad schedule:

Match focus:

Jana Cepelova vs. Kiki Bertens

Something is going on with Kiki Bertens but she continues to play anyway. Her last win was in Rome and her last 2 losses were to players outside the top 190. No idea what's bothering the Dutch girl, but she needs to take a break to sort out her problems before it snowballs and erodes her confidence completely. Jana is a good ball striker and I guess will be more than happy to take out the troubled blond girl.

Pick Cepelova in 2 sets

Samantha Stosur vs. Varvara Lepchenko

Stosur's US Open preparations fell apart in Stanford and she will face a tougher opponent here in Lepchenko. Will the fragile Aussie crumble again? Lepchenko has a wily lefty serve and will be aiming for Samantha's weaker backhand. Stosur's kick serve will bounce into Varvara's forehand sweet spot for the American to swing freely. The only thing that is preventing Lepchenko from a sure win is her mental strength. I'm still not convinced she believes in herself enough to upset a top player. Maybe this match will be the one where she finishes the job.

Pick: Lepchenko in 2 tight sets

Flavia Pennetta vs. Francesca Schiavone

These 2 Italians meet again after drawing each other in Indian Wells earlier this year. Schiavone won that match and it will be a sign of things to come for this match. Pennetta seems to be struggling with her fitness, unable to maintain her form for the entire match. Schiavone is still fit and speedy around the court, and that will make the difference. I admit I have a soft spot for Flavia but Francesca will be the slight favourite here. I wouldn't mind an upset though.

Pick: Schiavone in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Paula Ormaechea
Upset alert: Samantha Stosur, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Kiki Bertens

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