Strasbourg schedule of play:
Nurnberg schedule of play:
Sloane Stephens vs. Julia Goerges
Sloane Stephens opens her Strasbourg campaign against a dangerous foe, Julia Goerges. The German has been showing signs of improvement lately, and is playing on her preferred surface, clay. The slow surface gives Julia enough time to set up her huge swings. Stephens has the tendency to take things too easily and I believe Julia will make her pay. The German just needs to concentrate and not give away too many loose errors.
Pick: Goerges in 2 sets
Camila Giorgi vs. Alize Cornet
Cornet will attempt to defend her title her, opening against the dangerous Giorgi. Camila has been on a roll lately, and she will be looking forward to bringing that form over here. Still, clay is not going to be Giorgi's best surface given the lack of patience from her. Thus, Cornet is still the favourite here. Players seem to have slumps after beating Serena Williams, and Cornet is no exception. She has done little after upsetting the world number 1, but she can turn things around here.
Pick: Cornet in 3 sets
Karin Knapp vs. Polona Hercog
Karin Knapp snaps her 8 match losing streak by winning a match here. A win over Shahar Peer is not very newsworthy nowadays, so it's a little premature to say that she's back. Polona Hercog is a clay court expert, and will definitely play well against the low-on-confidence Knapp. With her recent good runs on clay, I believe Hercog has this in the bag. Knapp can make things interesting though, but not enough for the win.
Pick: Hercog in 3 sets
Sure win bets: Peng Shuai, Andrea Petkovic, Angelique Kerber
Upset alert: Monica Puig, Stephanie Voegele, Kurumi Nara