Sunday, 23 February 2014

Acapulco, Florianopolis day 1: Clay season continues in South America

For clay court specialists, clay season continues in Brazil, while others prepare for the North American hard court swin by entering Acapulco.

Acapulco schedule of play:

Florianopolis schedule:

Match focus:

Stefanie Voegele vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm

Stefanie's form has been on the rise for the past one year, and she looks set to continue her rich rein of form against the veteran, Kimiko Date-Krumm. The pair has met 3 times, with Voegele leading the head-to-head 2-1. It will be difficult for the Japanese to beat the younger more energetic Voegele, but she can disrupt her rhythm by throwing different balls at the Swiss. This will be a close match, but I think Voegele will sneak out the win.

Pick: Voegele in 3 sets

Kristine Mladenovic vs. Christina McHale

These 2 are ranked respectively at 72 and 71, so there's little to separate them. The problem with Mladenovic is that she has all the power, but not the discipline to use it effectively. McHale lacks in raw power, but she knows when to hit hard, and when to just hang in there. So it's a tough call, Mladenovic might just have her day and totally dominate McHale. Still, I think the steadier American will win as Kristina always loses her concentration after a few bad shots.

Pick: McHale in 2 tight sets

Vania King vs. Garbine Muguruza

Vania King has had a mixed bag of results recently. She defeated Errani in Shenzhen, and now is on a 4 match losing streak, reaching a new low when she lost to Begu last week. Clay obviously isn't the surface for her, so I wonder why she's playing here instead of Acapulco. Garbine will be more familiar with the red stuff, despite her better results on hard courts. King will have to put on an inspired performance to have a chance against te in-form Muguruza.

Pick: Muguruza in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Carla Suarez Navarro, Marina Erakovic, Bojana Jovanovski
Upset alert: Francesca Schiavone, Patricia Mayr-Achleitner

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