Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Charleston, Monterrey day 3: Draw blown wide open

The top seeds of both tournaments did not play well and even the great Serena Williams has been dumped out unceremiously by unheralded Jana Cepelova. This makes the draw very interesting as the title is really up for grabs now.

Charleston schedule of play:


Monterrey schedule of play:

Match focus:

Elina Svitolina vs. Sloane Stephens

Elina is slowly improving, winning the matches that she's supposed to win, and beating a few players that's ranked above her. This match will test whether she's ready for the top 20. Sloane played an awful match against Wozniacki in Miami, so Elina definitely has a chance here. Sloane is just capitalizing on her fame at the moment and not really concentrating on her tennis. This is sad as she's capable of so much more. Let's see if she will start working on her game once her points start dropping off.

Pick: Svitolina in 2 sets

Lauren Davis vs. Jelena Jankovic

Jelena now has the burden of retaining the prestige of the tournament as the highest seed left. The Serbian should have rested enough, as she was ousted in her first match in Miami. She should be careful of Davis though, as the American has a good game and can cause her some troubles. Still, I expect Jelena to win this as she's the better player on clay.

Pick: Jankovic in 2 sets

Donna Vekic vs. Karolina Pliskova

Donna Vekic is coming back to life again after going missing for the latter part of last year. She is currently playing well, and looks good to mount another upset against Karolina Pliskova. The Czech has a robotic game, while Vekic's game is more flashy. I believe Donna can win here, and go deep in the tournament where the top seeds have fallen.

Pick: Vekic in 2 sets

Kimiko Date-Krumm vs. Timea Babos

Timea Babos had been winless for 2014 until her last match against a Mexican wildcard. It is safe to say that Kimiko will be the huge favourite here, having topple Pennetta in convincing fashion. Kimiko's game will trouble the ball bashing Babos, as the Hungarian does not really have a plan B. It is a great opportunity for Kimiko to gain points here, as the draw has fallen wide open for the top half.

Pick: Date-Krumm in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Monica Puig, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Daniela Hantuchova
Upset alert: Karolina Pliskova, Sabine Lisicki, Marina Erakovic, Sloane Stephens

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