Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Stanford, Washington day 3: Serena starts her comeback!

Stanford schedule of play:

Washington schedule of play:

Match focus:

Serena Williams vs. Karolina Pliskova

Serena claims to be healthy and ready to go for her US Open series campaign. Nevertheless, there will be doubts about her health given how out of sorts she was in Wimbledon. Serena did mention that she will get a health check after the season, so maybe the mysterious illness is still bugging her. The question is can Pliskova take this chance and upset the rusty Serena? Karolina's game is pretty one-dimensional, so Serena shouldn't have a problem. The Czech isn't exactly known for her fighting abilities as well. Looks like a straightforward opener for the world number 1.

Pick: Serena in 2 sets

Naomi Osaka vs. Andrea Petkovic

Samantha Stosur's days as a top 20 player are number if she can lose to someone who's making her main draw debut. Naomi Osaka has a hard-hitting game, but it's not something that Stosur isn't accustomed to. Her mental frailty was painfully exposed by the teenager, who seemed like the veteran on court. Petkovic is likely to impose herself on the gutsy teenager. Andrea's game is scrappy, so Naomi will have to hit that extra ball to win the point. Tough to do it for the whole match.

Pick: Petkovic in 2 sets

Kristina Mladenovic vs. Taylor Townsend

Mladenovic unceremoniously dumped top seed Lucie Safarova in her opening match, opening up the top half of the draw. Kristina's game blows hot and cold, so it's important to stay with her when she's hitting the spots. Taylor Townsend has an all court game which will give Kristina no rhythm to work with. Coupled with her tricky lefty serve. the American is poised to take this match. I just hope that the pressure doesn't get to Taylor, playing in front of her home crowd.

Pick: Townsend in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Monica Puig, Agnieszka Radwanska, Serena Williams
Upset alert: Sorana Cirstea, Kurumi Nara, Marina Erakovic

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