Linz schedule of play:
Marina Erakovic vs, Caroline Garcia
When Garcia hits her stride, she's very difficult to beat. That's what's happening to the youngster as she had a good run in Wuhan and Beijing. Erakovic is also a streaky player, but I think Caroline should be confident of her chances after her Asian swing. Caroline's problem will always be trying to balance offense and defense, so if Marina plays her defense well enough, Caroline might self-implode. The New Zealander isn't a defensive player though, so the odds are against her.
Pick: Garcia in 2 sets
Elina Svitolina vs. Shelby Rogers
Both players are considered rising stars in the WTA poll, so it might develop into a nice rivalry in the future. Svitolina's run in Wuhan was surprising, as she upset the consistent Kerber and effectively ended her campaign for Singapore. With that win, it is safe to say that the Ukrainian is the huge favourite. Shelby's results has been too inconsistent to challenge the steady Elina, so she might claim a set, but not the match.
Pick: Svitolina in 3 sets
Olga Govortsova vs. Francesca Schiavone
While Schiavone is not the player that she was, she still has enough game to tame the lesser players. Govortsova is a typical one dimensional ball-basher with almost zero game plan. The wily Italian will be quick to deploy her slices to disrupt the rhythm, and make Olga self-destruct. I will be very worried if the former slam champion loses this.
Pick: Schiavone in 2 sets
Sure win bets: Belinda Bencic, Alison Riske, Barbora Strycova Zahlavova, Madison Keys
Upset alert: Sorana Cirstea, Annika Beck, Eri Hozumi, Erika Sema