Schedule of play:
Hsieh Su-Wei vs. Jarmila Gajdosova
It's tough to believe that Hsieh was a former winner here 2 years ago. The Taiwanese had a breakout year in 2012, but has since slumped terribly, barely winning matches. She will try to recapture her former glory here, but will face former top 30 player Jarmila Gajdosova. The Australian can beat anyone on her good day, but is always let down by her impatience and wrong shot selection. Jarmila also had good results here, reaching the semi-finals here in 2010. If she keeps her cool, she has a winnable match here. Hsieh's shots will not be penetrative enough to trouble Jarmila.
Pick: Gajdosova in 2 tight sets
Donna Vekic vs. Chan Yung-Jan
Donna has been hitting the ball recently, and I wouldn't be surprised if she goes far here. She will face the hard hitting Chan in her first round. Chan's ball striking ability is fantastic, but is let down by her lack of fitness conditioning. If she sheds her excess weight, I'm sure her results will be much more better. However, she has been maintaining this weight for several years, so I don't believe she has the drive or belief to improve herself. Vekic should be able to take advantage of Chan's lack of movement to cruise to an easy victory.
Pick: Vekic in 2 sets
Zheng Saisai vs. Zhang Shuai
In this all Chinese battle, 2nd seed Zhang Shuai will face former youth Olympic champion Zheng Saisai. Zhang has been nursing an injury since Acapulco and might not be 100%. It is up to Zheng to test the injury and pounce on any chance that Zhang gives. Saisai has a scrappy game, and she needs to tire Zhang and make her hit the errors. The only worry for Saisai is that she tends to choke away close matches. Let's see if she can hold her nerve this time.
Pick: Zheng in 3 sets
Sure win bets: Olga Savchuk, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Patricia Mayr-Achleitner
Upset alert: Tadeja Majeric, Hsieh Su-Wei, Timea Babos