Monday, 21 April 2014

Stuttgart, Marrakech day 2: Errani in danger

Stuttgart schedule of play:

Marrakech schedule of play:

Match focus:

Klara Koukalova vs. Sara Errani

Even though these 2 players never faced each other in Fed Cup, Errani will be eager to take revenge for Italy's loss to Czech Republic just last week. The thing that is going against Sara is her poor form, and her injury. The Italian has been struggling this year, falling out of the top 10 for the first time since 2012. Klara on the other hand is playing her best tennis. She has just won in Florianopolis, and clinched an important win in Fed Cup doubles. The one thing that favours Errani is that the surface is clay. Clay loving Errani might be too much for Koukalova, but Stuttgart's clay is famous for being quick. I don't think that will play into Sara's hands.

Pick: Koukalova in 3 sets

Lucie Safarova vs. Maria Sharapova

This will be an interesting match after their titanic tussle in Miami. Sharapova will be looking for a three-peat here in Stuttgart, and draws one of the most dangerous unseeded player. The field has always been strong for Stuttgart, so I think Maria is well prepared. Lucie's game on clay is less potent, while Sharapova has evolved her game to suit clay. This type of quick clay surface will favour the Russian more, having more experience and matches on it. It will be a tough fight, but Sharapova should emerge the winner.

Pick: Sharapova in 3 sets

Patricia Mayr-Achleitner vs. Elina Svitolina

Patricia Mayr-Achleitner is one of the tour's most hated players with her sorry attitude. It will take a lot of maturity from young Elina to look pass that and beat her with calmness. This is a good test for the young Ukrainian on her mental toughness. If Elina plays to her normal standard and not let Patricia get to her, she should be safe. I believe Svitolina has the game to go far here.

Pick: Svitolina in 2 sets

Sure in bets: Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Francesca Schiavone
Upset alert: Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, Chanelle Scheepers

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