Linz schedule of play:
Osaka schedule of play:
Klara Koukalova vs. Marina Erakovic
Klara was enjoying one of her best years on tour, until she began to return to her losing ways. Her season was highlighted by capturing her first title in 9 years, but has been 3-7 in her last 10 matches. This is the unpredictable Koukalova, who appears to sulk more than enjoy playing tennis. Erakovic enjoyed a great win over the talented Garcia, so she will be the favourite here. I do expect Klara's flat strokes to be effective here, but with her confidence so low, I doubt she will hit enough balls in the court to win this.
Pick: Erakovic in 3 sets
Yulia Putintseva vs. Heather Watson
As much as I love to loathe Putintseva, she does have a pretty powerful and compact game. Against someone with limited power like Watson, she has the chance to overpower the Brit. Not too sure what happened to Yulia, as she was on the ascend one year ago. Now, she's struggling mightily and just not winning the matches she's supposed to win. I believe this girl needs a mental psychologist to tone her on-court antics down. So much drama isn't good for her otherwise effective game. Look out for another typical Yulia meltdown.
Pick: Watson in 3 sets
Sorana Cirstea vs. Andrea Hlavackova
2 girls who are on the free fall this yeat attempt to correct their win-loss record for this season. Hlavackova has been concentrating on her doubles career so far, so it's good to see her making an effort in singles again. Even though she had a good win over Puig, I believe Sorana has the more powerful game. The Romanian is out of the top 50 for the first time in about 4 to 5 years, so this should be a humbling experience for her. It's not everyday that I say this, but Sorana has the better court sense than Hlavackova. The Czech often goes for outrageous shots in impossible positions, losing the points 90% of the time. Sorana should cruise through this.
Pick: Cirstea in 2 sets
Sure win bets: Luksika Kumkhum, Varvara Lepchenko, Camila Giorgi
Upset alert: Ajla Tomljanovic, Klara Koukalova