WTA Tokyo, 09:00 – Ivanovic v Azarenka
Azarenka’s ranking has dropped to 25th this season as she has struggled with injury and lack of confidence. She lost the opening set to Granny Krumm in the last round and it then became clear that Krumm was injured and Azarenka was able to take the next 2 sets comfortably.
Ivanovic has had a good season but hasn’t played since her poor performance against Pliskova at the US Open.
Azarenka leads the head to heads 5-2 and has won their last 4 but this must be an excellent opportunity for Ivanovic to get a rare win over her.
Azarenka hasn’t been completely useless this season and reached the quarter finals of the US Open. Ivanovic starts at 1.75 which I can understand but I want to see how they start before committing money to it.
If Ivanovic can avoid a poor performance from the service line she will take this close but I would prefer a price above evens before entering. Azarenka’s fierce competitive streak could inspire her to lift her game for this one though so be careful.
WTA Tokyo, 11:00 – Kerber v Svitolina
Kerber is playing her first match since she lost to Bencic in the third round of the US Open. She has had a solid season so far but her losses have tended to come against big hitters.
Svitolina was impressive in her last match. She beat Zahlavova Strycova in straight sets and was timing the ball extremely well although did have problems closing out games.
Kerber reached the final last year so will be giving everything today. She is well rested but may take a game or two to get into the swing of things.
Svitolina lost in the second round last season.
Kerber starts at 1.47 and I think we have a strong chance of seeing her trade higher early in the match if Svitolina can keep hitting the ball as she did in the first round. Once Kerber gets her game going though she should be too strong over all.
ATP Moselles (Metz), 19:00 – Mathieu v Rosol
They have only played once before which was in 2012 on clay. Rosol won comfortably in straight sets.
Mathieu starts as slight market favourite at 1.86. He won his first round match in two tie breaks against Becker. He saved all 8 of the break points he faced.
Rosol won the title in Winston Salem in August. That left him fatigued going into the US Open and he crashed out in the first round to 204th ranked Coric without winning a set. He played Davis Cup against France at the weekend and was beaten on clay by Monfils and Tsonga. There was no shame in those two defeats but he needs to get back to winning ways. This won’t be an easy match to do so.
Mathieu will obviously have the crowd with him and I think he will make this really tough for Rosol. He did get 7 break points against Becker although wasn’t able to take any of them. Rosol may well get frustrated if he isn’t able to get any joy on return of serve.
I would prefer to back him above evens but I give an edge to Mathieu.