WTA Birmingham, 11:00 – Stephens starts as a 1.69 market favourite against Alison Riske.
Riske has an excellent record at this tournament. Last season she reached the semi finals as a qualifier. 2011 saw her reach the quarter final and it was a semi final finish in 2010. She also made the 3rd round at Wimbledon last season. Stats for the last 3 months favour her although Stephens has converted a greater percentage of break points.
I think they are evenly matched and will be looking to lay the first one to go a break ahead. Picking a winner isn’t easy but as this isn’t a grand slam I am going with Riske.
WTA Birmingham, 13:00 – Hantuchova is the defending champion. Today’s opponent is Date Krumm who beat Puig in a third set tie break yesterday. Granny Krumm just doesn’t know when to quit and while her opponents continue to find her hard to beat, why should she?
Hantuchova starts at 1.39. She won their last 2 matches but those were 3 years ago.
I expect to see a much higher price on Hantuchova and will wait to back her when she is an early break behind. If her current form continues she should come through this one.
I will look to add a match or 2 from this evening’s games (although regular readers will know I don’t always manage it!)
Update: I gave up trying to predict today’s matches! I’m amazed that 2 of the 3 Shark Tips picks won.
Nadal lost to Dustin Brown. Murray to Stepanek. Federer lost a set to Sousa. Bagels and tie breaks galore.