Linz schedule of play:
Osaka schedule of play:
Tianjin schedule of play:
Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Karin Knapp
Karin Knapp had a great close match with Sharapova in Melbourne, and she carried her momentum onlwards with a few good matches thereafter. However, she fell off the radar soon and was losing every match in sight. She finally recaptured her form with a title run in Tashkent, and now with an upset win over Lisicki. Rybarikova also had an uneven year, from upsetting Simona Halep to losing to Misa Eguchi. The Slovak might also be carrying an injury, having retired from her last two tournaments. So I believe Knapp has what it takes to win this. The Italian has heavy groundstrokes and a big serve. If she can attack Magdalena's vulnerable backhand, she has a good chance.
Pick: Knapp in 3 sets
Samantha Stosur vs. Jarmila Gajdosova
Stosur had a good run in Beijing, and will be eager to defend her title here in Osaka. The Aussie has a ton of points to defend, having won here last year, and reaching the finals of Moscow and Sofia after. The pressure will definitely be on her, that's why Gajdosova has a chance. Jarmila is slowly regaining back her form after almost 2 years of personal problems. If she plays with no fear, she has the game to derail the higher ranked Aussie, having beaten her before. Jarmila needs this more, so I'm going with the upset here.
Pick: Gajdosova in 3 sets
Jelena Jankovic vs. Zheng Saisai
With her worrying back injury, Jankovic might just withdraw before this match happens. Nevertheless, if she takes on Zheng Saisai, it might not be as straightforward as believed. Zheng has the partisan Chinese crowd behind her, and with Jelena's compromised movement and serve, she might very well cause an upset here. Jelena should really rest up for this season, as she does seem to be mentally exhausted, losing matches she's supposed to win for the latter part of the year.
Pick: Zheng in 3 sets
Sure win bets: Peng Shuai, Lauren Davis, Zarina Diyas, Jana Cepelova, Karolina Pliskova
Upset alerts: Jelena Jankovic, Samantha Stosur, Zhang Shuai, Magdalena Rybarikova