Monday, 28 April 2014

Oeiras day 2: How good is Bouchard on clay?

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Alisa Kleybanova vs. Eugenie Bouchard

Alisa's recent fine form will be tested by Bouchard, whose 2014 has been stellar. Still, the young Canadian sparked some controversy by refusing to shake hands with her opponent during the Fed Cup pre-match interview. Maybe the success is getting to Eugenie's head, but she must also realise that it's important to stay humble. Alisa has the experience on the surface, while Eugenie is rather normal on clay. I think Alisa has a chance here, if she makes Eugenie hit that extra ball.

Pick: Kleybanova in 3 sets

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Zhang Shuai

Kuznetsova almost reached the semi-finals of Stuttgart, but faltered when it matters. This will not happen here as Zhang is no Ivanovic. The Chinese is better suited for hard courts, not the slow clay. The former French Open champion will treat this as a practice match and try out new things for her clay game. An easy win for the Russian.

Pick: Kuznetsova in 2 easy sets

Alexandra Cadantu vs. Roberta Vinci

Vinci may be struggling this year, but her level of play should be able to overcome Alexandra Cadantu. The Romanian is one of the most weaponless players on tour, and is only respectable on clay. With her vast experience on the red surface, Roberta is the huge favourite despite winning only a handful of matches this year. If she loses this one, we're in big big trouble.

Pick: Vinci in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Samantha Stosur, Carla Suarez Navarro, Kaia Kanepi
Upset alert: Elena Vesnina, Eugenie Bouchard, Peng Shuai

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