Sorana Cirstea vs. Bojana Jovanovski
Sorana Cirstea hasn't done much since reaching the finals of Toronto. Will she survive the in form Bojana Jovanovski? The Serbian just clinched Tashkent last week and will look forward to carrying her form here in Guangzhou. Seems that Cirstea is nursing an injury after that final run and she might be rushing a bit into resuming play. If she manages to win this, it's an indication that she's fully recovered. If not, she needs to take a break before any permanent damage is done.
Pick: Cirstea in 3 sets
Andrea Petkovic vs. Francesca Schiavone
Petkovic's form is still very up and down and she will be tested against the wily Italian, Francesca Schiavone. The former French Open champion was swept aside by ruthless Serena, but Petkovic doesn't have the serve or firepower like the world number 1. If she gets into long drawn rallies with Francesca, she's in trouble. Being the hardworking girl, I believe Andrea knows what she has been lacking and will practice her ass off to improve it.
Pick: Petkovic in 3 sets
Heather Watson vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm
Heather Watson's season has been forgettable, but she showed signs of a revival in US Open. Will she be able to topple the crowd favourite, Kimiko Date-Krumm? The Brit's game is not imposing enough to brush aside the pesky Japanese. She will have to grind out a win against the veteran. If she goes for too much, Watson might be bidding sayonara soon. This will be a close match, and I believe Watson will edge out Kimiko in 3 tight sets.
Pick: Watson in 3 sets
Sure win bets: Maria Kirilenko, Agnieszka Radwanska, Laura Robson, Varvara Lepchenko
Upset alert: Irina-Camelia Begu, Nastassja Burnett, Luksika Kumkhum, Yvonna Meusburger