Baku schedule of play:
Pauline Parmentier vs. Alexandra Dulgheru
Pauline Parmentier enjoyed an inspiring run in Paris, but continued her bad run of results immediately after that. Looks like that Paris run was a fluke. Alexandra will be the slight favourite here, being a former top 30 player. However, the hard courts will suit Pauline more, so Dulgheru will need to make the Frenchwoman work for her points. If the Romanian stays healthy, she should be able to outlast Pauline.
Pick: Dulgheru in 2 sets
Alexandra Cadantu vs. Stefanie Voegele
Stefanie Voegele must be thanking her lucky stars upon drawing slumping Cadantu. The troubled Romanian is utterly dismal this year, and even though Voegele herself isn't in sparkling form, it will definitely be enough to defeat the dire Cadantu. Not too sure what is wrong with Alex, but I think she needs to take a break to regroup herself. Her losing ways cannot be good for her mentality.
Pick: Voegele in 2 sets
Patricia Mayr-Achleitner vs. Bojana Jovanovski
As a former champion here, Jovanovski will be confident of her chances here. Mayr-Achleitner's game is more to annoy her opponent than outplaying them, so I don't expect Bojana to fall for that trap. With a better field this year, Bojana may not be able to repeat her triumph 2 years ago, but should be able to cruise through her opener.
Pick: Jovanovski in 2 sets
Sure win bets: Yvonne Meusburger, Stefanie Voegele, Bojana Jovanovski,
Upset alert: Pauline Parmentier