Monday, 21 July 2014

Baku day 2: Return of Kateryna Bondarenko

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Julia Glushko vs. Kateryna Bondarenko

Now this is a name you haven't seen in a while. Kateryna Bondarenko makes her main draw appearance after several years off the tour. During her break, she recovered from her injury, and had a child as well. Another Kim Clijsters in the making? Well, she's definitely not going to be as accomplished as Kim, but kudos to her for continuing on tour despite having a baby. Glushko will not be an easy opponent, but if Bondarenko plays to her former potential, she has a chance.

Pick: Bondarenko in 3 sets

Francesca Schiavone vs. Kurumi Nara

Francesca is obviously at the twilight of her career, but can still play good tennis in flashes of brilliance. She has a chance here against the slumping Nara, who has really struggled since winning her first title in Rio. Schiavone has also been a victim of bad luck last week, when umpire Eva Asderaki overruled an out call which was obviously correct. Let's hope she gets sweet vengeance this time.

Pick: Schiavone in 3 sets

Heather Watson vs. Kristina Mladenovic

Heather Watson's perseverance finally paid off, as she obtains a seeding for this tournament. It has been a long way back for the Brit, but the results are finally coming in for the hardworking girl. Still, the road isn't going to get easier as she faces an in form Kristina Mladenovic. The Frenchwoman had a good result last week in Istanbul, and is pretty tough when she's clicking. Heather will have to bring her running shoes and wear the erratic Kristina out if she wants to win this. 

Pick: Watson in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Jana Cepelova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Elina Svitolina
Upset alert: Julia Glushko, Sorana Cirstea

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