There weren’t many underdogs who won yesterday which is unusual for WTA. One notable one though was Muguruza losing in a third set tie break to Date Krumm.
Mad Vera Zvonareva won her first match of the season against Wild Card Plipuech but has a tougher task today against Makarova.
Makarova made a slow start to her match with Olga Savchuk and wasn’t looking happy with life in the humid conditions. She came back strongly from the second set onwards.
Makarova leads the head to heads 2-1 but the most recent was at the Australian Open in 2012 which she won in straight sets.
Makarova starts at 1.49 which is a little short but it is likely that Zvonareva is not fully match fit yet. The only way she can get that is by playing competitive matches and her form will improve over the next few weeks. I think we will see a higher price on Makarova but she should be too strong over 3 sets.
Mona Barthel won the title in Paris last year and reached the quarter finals the year before as a qualifier so she clearly likes conditions there.
She played Flipkens twice last season and they won a match each.
Barthel may be struggling with a shoulder injury which is affecting her serve. Her performance against Pennetta was poor at the Oz Open.
Flipkens ended 2013 poorly but reached the quarter finals in Hobart earlier this month. At the Oz Open she beat an injured Robson before crashing out weakly to Dellacqua.
If Barthel is able to serve reasonably well I think she has a good chance. She will need to play with controlled aggression and Flipkens should give her a lot of chances to tee off on the second serve returns.
They never has a 3 setter in the past which suggests the opening set is vital and I am favouring Barthel as long as her shoulder appears to be ok.
I had tipped against Cirstea yesterday so was a bit pissed off that she found some form. Today she is underdog against Alison Riske. They played once last year which was on a hard court in Washington and Cirstea won in 3 sets.
Riske has improved a great deal in the last few months and I can see why she is favourite. However 1.60 is too low as it is more a 50/50 match.
Cirstea has been in the semi final for the last 2 years so clearly likes the time of year and/or the venue. Now she has shown she has found a little form the value is on her.