Upset of the previous day:
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni def. Simona Halep 7-6(6) 6-2
3 players who were expected to win crashed out within minutes of each other, but none of them are as surprising as Halep's exit. Kerber lost to a future star, while Venus' erratic play would have given Errani a chance, but the steady Halep losing this early was just unforeseen. If Halep played her normal game, she would have won quite easily, given how Lucic loves to go for outrageous winners when out of position. However, when leading 5-2 in the first set, Simona just lost her plot and started committing silly errors. Credit to Mirjana as well for still going for her shots. This is an extremely bad loss for the Romanian, even though she has already qualified for Singapore. As for Mirjana, she will be elated at upsetting the world number 2 in the age of 32. Who knows how far she can go.
Schedule of play:
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova vs. Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie struggled to put away the dangerous Cirstea, but emerged victorious eventually. With so many upsets today, I believe there will be a calm after the storm. Despite having bad form coming into the Open, Bouchard is fighting through her matches here, which I believe is essential not to peak too early. She will have to be wary of the dangerous Strycova, as she can mix it up very well. Still, Eugenie's court speed is pretty good, so she should be able to win this one.
Pick: Bouchard in 2 tight sets
Elena Vesnina vs. Victoria Azarenka
Her first round was a mess, but Azarenka righted her ship with a clinical disposal of McHale. Looks like the old Azarenka is back. Against Vesnina, the Belarussian is firmly the favourite, even though Vesnina is a former top 20 player. The Russian's form is pretty bad coming into the Open, but was helped by her soft draw here. Victoria has had easy victories over Elena before, and I expect the same here.
Pick: Azarenka in 2 sets
Casey Dellacqua vs. Karolina Pliskova
This should be a nervy affair for these 2 players, having not reached the 2nd week of a slam before in their career. With the exit of Ivanovic, this section of the draw is wide open, and I believe Ana's conquerer is ready to emerge. Dellecqua is enjoying her best year on tour after her injury, but Pliskova has a huge serve and flat groundstrokes. Casey will have to disrupt the Czech's rhythm by deploying her lefty serve and make her hit awkward balls. Still, I believe Pliskova is confident after her win over Ivanovic, unless she lets her nonchalant attitude get to her.
Pick: Pliskova in 3 sets
Kaia Kanepi vs. Carla Suarez Navarro
Kaia Kanepi showed real grit, saving 2 match points against Samantha Stosur. Can she do it again against Carla is another question. Carla's game is frankly quite similar to Stosur, with a weaker serve of course. Both players use the backhand slices frequently, but Carla can hit some decent backhand topspin shots. Kaia's long drawn match with Samantha will probably have an effect here, but she should be well-rested after a day's break. As with the Stosur match, this will be a tight affair, and when things get tight, Carla breaks.
Pick: Kanepi in 3 sets
Sure win bets: Serena Williams, Flavia Pennetta, Petra Kvitova
Upset alert: Carla Suarez Navarro, Casey Dellacqua