Moscow schedule of play:
Luxembourg schedule of play:
Ana Konjuh vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Coming off a good week in Osaka, Ana Konjuh will be a tough opener for the patchy Russian, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian has hit a rough patch lately, barely winning matches. Still, her season is salvaged by her surprise title run in Paris Indoors. In the fast carpet surface, Pavlyuchenkova has the experience, having won in Paris earlier in the year, but Konjuh has nothing to lose and her powerful game is effective here as well. Pavlyuchenkova will need to weather the storm, and try to make Ana make the errors.
Pick: Pavlyuchenkova in 3 sets
Caroline Garcia vs. Aleksandra Krunic
Caroline Garcia is the anti-thesis of consistency. Just when you thought that she's getting her groove back, she bombs out in the opening round of Linz. Needless to say, it is impossible to predict which Garcia will show up. However, against someone as scrappy and stingy as Krunic, I think Caroline will lose here. Aleksandra will make Garcia crazy with her endless retrieving, which will result in wild errors from the French girl. Looks like Krunic will score another upset here.
Pick: Krunic in 2 sets
Sabine Lisicki vs. Daniela Hantuchova
Given Hantuchova's recent lack of form, Sabine should be able to cruise in her first round match. The lightning fast surface does not give any consolation to Daniela, whose movement is laborious even on other surfaces. Let's see if Daniela can summon her game and show that she still has some years ahead of her. If she loses this in a lopsided manner, I believe the end is near for Daniela.
Pick: Lisicki in 2 sets
Sure in bets: Camila Giorgi, Elena Vesnina, Alize Cornet, Andrea Petkovic
Upset alert: Caroline Garcia, Kiki Bertens, Varvara Lepchenko, Annika Beck