Schedule of play:
Sloane Stephens vs. Peng Shuai
Sloane Stephens's lack of drive is driving her supporters crazy. She only seems to be interested in bigger events and flops spectacularly in smaller ones. Peng is a handy player and will not hesistate to punish any laziness from the American. Still, this is a Grand Slam event; so I expect more interest from Sloane. Nevertheless, coming into the tournament with almost zero wins will dent her confidence. Someone needs to show Sloane that tennis players need to give their all in all their matches.
Pick: Peng in 2 sets
Monica Puig vs. Samantha Stosur
Freshly off winning a title in Strasbourg, Monica comes into Paris full of confidence. However, she needs to start focusing early as she faces former finalist, Samantha Stosur. The Australian hasn't had the best preparation for Paris, but still excels on this surface. While I believe Puig doesn't have any problems dealing with Stosur's slices, the Australian's spinny forehand and serves will pose a problem. Also, I think the expectations to do well after a good result will weigh on Puig. This is the first time where she had to defend any major points, so I think she has more added pressure on her.
Pick: Stosur in 3 sets
Dominika Cibulkova vs. Virginie Razzano
Cibulkova has had a disastrous clay season so far. Will Razzano add to her suffering? Well, Virginie isn't playing her best tennis that's for sure, but she will be buoyed by the home support. If Virginie gets on a roll and gains in confidence, there's a chance that she can create another memorable upset. Nevertheless, I think Cibulkova still has enough game to overcome the aging Razzano.
Pick: Cibulkova in 2 tight sets
Petra Kvitova vs. Zarina Diyas
If Zarina hadn't retired in her previous match with an injury, I would have given her a chance to upset the crazy Kvitova. All she needs to do is keep the ball in play anyway. However with her hampered movement, it's almost impossible to mount the upset, and Petra got lucky again. Let's hope Zarina is recovered well enough to make this match interesting.
Pick: Kvitova in 2 sets
Sure win bets: Maria Sharapova, Alize Cornet, Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Karolina Pliskova
Upset alert: Marina Erakovic, Jana Cepelova, Bojana Jovanovski, Elena Vesnina, Vania King