Mannarino is taking on a Russian in Moscow. Gabashvilli has played just 2 main draw matches in the last 12 months and lost both of them. He did reach the final of a Challenger in Tashkent earlier this month.
Mannarino reached the quarter finals in Kuala Lumpur a couple of weeks ago and really should take this match. I can’t forget his last match in Russia though when he was terrible in St Petersburg and lost weakly to Donskoy.
1.66 is a little short and I will look to back a little higher.
Kirilenko and Pavlyuchenkova meet in the Kremlin Cup.
Head to heads are 1-1 but both matches were in 2009.
Before her win in the first round Pavlyuchenkova had never won a match at this event. Kirilenko’s record is very different. She reached the quarter finals last year and also in 2009. In 2010 she reached the final where she lost out to Azarenka.
Kirilenko’s stats for the season are stronger but if you look at just the last 3 months it is Pavlyuchenkova who posts better numbers.
Despite Kirilenko having the better record at this tournament in the past I am favouring Pavlyuchenkova to get the win. I’d expect it to be very close and three sets are likely.
Keeping with the Russian theme we have Vesnina against Vinci.
They have played 6 times before with Vesnina leading 4-2. In the last 2 seasons they have met 3 times. Vinci won on clay and Vesnina won in Australia and also in Auckland in 2012, both on hard courts.
Vesnina reached the semi finals in 2011 but was dumped out in the first round last year by Kirilenko. Vinci has played just once before when she was beaten in the first round by Dushevina in 2011.
Vinci’s more recent stats are stronger but the home advantage levels things up plus their previous results on hard courts.
I expect a tight match but feel that Vesnina’s motivation is a little stronger.
Match of the day could well be Petkovic v Bouchard in Luxembourg.
Petkovic has shown some of the skills and fighting spirit that saw her in the top 10 before her injury problems.
Bouchard has also been making the headlines with very consistent performances since she reached the semi finals of her home tournament in Quebec.
Stats for the last 3 months are more relevant and have these two very close. Bouchard is just a fraction ahead in every category other than break point conversions.
This is another match where I can see it going to three sets. They have both won 5 of their last 10 deciding sets with Petkovic taking 3 of her last 5 and Bouchard 2 of her last 5. If stats are magic then I guess that means Petkovic takes it in a third set tie break?