Schedule of play:
Ekaterina Makarova vs. Petra Kvitova
Since her Wimbledon title, Kvitova has only won one match since. She suffered a loss right at the hands of Makarova in Montreal, so the Russian will be confident of her chances here. Seems like 2011 all over again with Kvitova failing to live up the the heightened expectations of her. She needs to right the ship here and get a good result, or she will go into New York with low confidence and an easy target for an upset.
Pick: Kvitova in 3 sets
Alison Riske vs. Flavia Pennetta
Pennetta got back some of her groove last week in Cincinnati, winning matches that she's supposed to win. This one is no different. Alison Riske has been struggling with her form lately, so Flavia should be able to take this one. However, Riske plays a risky game, so if she hits her spots, the match might be over quickly for Pennetta. The Italian will need to hang in and draw the errors from the American.
Pick: Pennetta in 2 sets
Caroline Garcia vs. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
Things were going smoothly for Garcia until her collapse in Paris. She has never been the same again since then, losing matches which she's supposed to win. Strycova on the other hand, has been riding on a new wave of confidence since her surprise run in Wimbledon. This meeting will be a no-brainer as to who is the favourite. Caroline needs to address what's wrong with her mental game as she seemingly cannot handle the pressure of higher expectations laid upon her. If she can overcome that, she has the game to become a top player definitely.
Pick: Zahlavova Strycova in 2 sets