Monday, 12 May 2014

Rome day 2: Can Cibulkova get her clay game going?

Match focus:

Dominika Cibulkova vs. Camila Giorgi

Cibulkova is paying the price for desperately trying to hang onto her second place ranking in the race to Singapore. By overplaying in smaller tournaments, she injured herself and is forced to pull out or play injured from bigger events. She gets a tough opener against Giorgi, who is rapidly improving. Playing at home will give Camila a confidence boost, and Dominika's serves will be sitting ducks for Giorgi to hit for winners. I think an upset here is possible. 

Pick: Giorgi in 2 sets

Ekaterina Makarova vs. Roberta Vinci

Makarova has been in a bit of a slump recently, but it's not as bad as Vinci's prolonged slump this year. I guess whoever wins this will lose in the next round. On clay, I would give Roberta the advantage. Besides, she's playing at home, so that should give her some boost. Still, Makarova is a dangerous opponent on any surface, so this will be close. 

Pick: Vinci in 3 sets

Belinda Bencic vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The youngest member in the top 100 is making heads turn with her recent results. However, she still has a lot to prove against the top players. Pavlyuchenkova has the game to challenge the top, but is hampered by her fitness and weak mental game. She will be coming in with confidence though, having upset Jankovic in Madrid. I think Bencic can make this interesting, but Anastasia has too much experience to lose this one. 

Pick: Pavlyuchenkova in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Sara Errani, Carla Suarez Navarro, Petra Kvitova
Upset alert: Dominika Cibulkova, Daniela Hantuchova

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