Schedule of play:
Monica Puig vs. Magdalena Rybarikova
Monica Puig has won grand total of 1 match this entire year, against a lowly Tatishvili. She needs to start winning matches if she wants to stop this downward spiral, and will stand a good chance against Rybarikova. Magdalena isn't having a great year herself, winning 3 matches so far. The Puerto Rican has an all around game which can trouble the Slovak, but just needs to be patient on when to pull the trigger. Puig has beaten Magdalena once before, and I think she can do it again.
Pick: Puig in 3 sets
Iveta Melzer vs. Alisa Kleybanova
2 players coming back from a long break will vie for a place in the second round. Alisa had a nice run in Indian Wells, and should be the big favourite to win this match. Iveta is just too early in her comeback to start winning matches right away. But she shouldn't be disheartened as not everyone is like Kim Clijsters who can turn on a switch when they're back. Hopefully Melzer will play some challengers to get the wins and ease back into the main events.
Pick: Kleybanova in 2 sets
Yaroslava Shvedova vs. Francesca Schiavone
Shvedova doesn't have a good record against Schiavone, losing all 3 matches that she played with her. However, Schiavone is at her most vulnerable now, winning only 1 match the entire year. If she wants that first win, it is now or never. Yaroslava has always been a streaky player, and she's playing very well in this current good streak, reaching the semi-finals in Florianopolis, and 3rd round in Indian Wells. She has a chance at upsetting the Italian, but just needs to be patient and not go for ridiculous winners.
Pick: Shvedova in 3 sets
Sure win bets: Anna Schmiedlova, Bojana Jovanovski, Chanelle Scheepers
Upset alerts: Stefanie Voegele, Caroline Garcia, Elina Svitolina