Sunday, 30 March 2014

Charleston, Monterrey day 1: Tough test for Kirilenko

Charleston schedule of play:

Monterrey schedule of play:

Match focus:

Maria Kirilenko vs. Belinda Bencic

Fresh from her injury layoff, Kirilenko will be put to the test immediately against rising Belinda Bencic. The Swiss will be sure to make Kirilenko move around the court and test if her knee is back to 100%. I don't think Kirilenko will make it through here immediately. She needs a softer draw and maybe a lower tier event to warm herself up. This is a golden chance for Bencic to get a good win over a good opponent.

Pick: Bencic in 2 sets

Julia Goerges vs. Virginie Razzano

Goerges had only one good win this year, which is over Errani in Melbourne. She went back to her errant ways since then and looks to be happy with her mediocrity. Razzano is a dangerous player and these 2 had a close match in 2009, where Julia won in a third set tiebreak. With the German's non-existent form now, Razzano should be able to bag this. Still, you'll never know which Julia Goerges will turn up.

Pick: Razzano in 3 sets

Elina Svitolina vs. Jarmila Gajdosova

Jarmila has been hounded by personal problems for the past 2 years, and it's nice to see her qualify for the main draw. However, she faces a tough match against Svitolina, who is in the form of her life. It will be difficult for the Aussie to break down Elina, unless she has an off day. Elina should be able to cruise to an easy victory here.

Pick: Svitolina in 2 sets

Flavia Pennetta vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm

Flavia is playing the best tennis of her career now, and it will take a lot for Kimiko to upset her. The Japanese does have what it takes to trouble her, but the Italian's fitness should be able to wear Date down. Flavia has a nice draw here and it will be a surprise if she doesn't make the finals.

Pick: Pennetta in 2 sets

Garbine Muguruza vs. Donna Vekic

After her massive choke against Zakopalova in Florianopolis, Garbine was never the same player. She lost both her opening matches in Indian Wells and Miami, choking against Tomljanovic in Key Biscayne. Donna will give her a good fight here, having played herself to form in the US tournaments. The Spaniard will need to steady herself here, or else this might spiral into a losing streak.

Pick: Vekic in 3 tight sets

Sure win bets: Karolina Pliskova, Timea Babos, Lauren Davis, Lucie Safarova, Christina McHale
Upset alert: Kristina Mladenovic, Garbine Muguruza, Maria Kirilenko, Michelle Larcher De Brito, Yaroslava Shvedova

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