Charleston, 15:00 – Hantuchova starts as favourite at 1.59 against Wild Card Shelby Rogers. It would be an upset if the American was able to get the win today but I think she could push Hantuchova close today.
Rogers beat Cetkovska in Indian Wells before losing in 2 tight sets to Rybarikova. She was outplayed by Govortsova in Miami but I expect her to fight well today. Hantuchova has lost her last 5 matches so an early set back could hurt her confidence.
Update: Rogers made a great start and served for the first set. She was broken and lost the set. She had a 5-2 lead in set 2 and was broken both times she served for the set.
Hantuchova won 7-5, 7-5.
Charleston, 17:00 – Shmiedlova was knocked out of Miami in the second round by Venus Williams. She then entered the Osprey ITF clay court tournament as a lot of the early loser did. She won the title beating Erakovic in the final.
Vesnina has lost her last 4 matches on clay. However the losses were to Azarenka, Vinci, Bartoli and Pavlyuchenkova.
Having watched some of the matches yesterday the clay in Charleston is pretty fast. I think Vesnina has a good chance. Her price has been dropping all morning and she is now 1.66 . I want a higher entry on her and will wait for an early break for Schmiedlova who should be full of confidence after her win.
Update: Vesnina broken in the very first game and had an easy win.
Vesnina won 6-2, 6-1.
Monterrey, 18:00 – Rybarikova starts at 1.84 against Govortsova but her recent form hasn’t been great. She has just 3 wins from her 10 matches in 2014.
Govortsova has been decent one minute and dire the next. Anyone would think this was WTA! She has put in some respectable performances this season though including wins over Goerges and Peer (I didn’t say spectacular) and she put up decent fights against Pennetta and Zahlavova Strycova.
They have only played once before but that was two years ago. Govortsova won in a third set tie break.
When comparing their stats for the last 3 months Govortsova is ahead in all the main categories. Expect a few breaks in this one and I am favouring Govortsova.
Update: Govortsova broken first and held for 2-0. Rybarikova came back with 2 breaks to take the set. Rybarikova was broken in the 6th game of set 2. Rybarikova broken straight back and Govortsova rebroke and finished the set.
Rybarikova won 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Charleston, 19:00 – Cirstea is the market favourite against Pereira but it is arguably the Brazilian who has the better pedigree on clay. The Charleston clay isn’t as slow as the “normal” red clay but I still give Pereira the edge.
Pereira reached the semi final in Rio in February. She won her first round match this week as underdog with some excellent serving stats.
Laying Cirstea when she is a break ahead would be perfect.
Update: Pereira won 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.