Today’s post will concentrate on this evening’s matches.
ATP Kitzbuhel Cup, 16:00 – Zverev has been given a wild card entry which is well deserved after his recent results. His first match is against Schwartzman and is a winnable one if he can maintain the level he has been playing at. He starts as slight under dog.
Schwartzman has had a couple of quarter finals in Challenger clay events recently and won a title in May. His more recent tournaments haven’t shown much to write home about although his losses were all close matches.
Zverev is likely to have the home support and friends and family haven’t had a huge journey from Germany.
I will wait to lay Schwartzman when he is a break up in the early games. I think Zverev can take a tight match but it could be a scrappy affair.
Update: Shwartzman won 6-1, 6-0. That was a short career for Zverev wasn’t it?
WTA Citi Open, 19:00 – Makarova starts as a strong (ish) favourite against Rybarikova at 1.50 .
Rybarikova has won both their previous meetings including at this tournament last year. That was a semi final so there are a lot of points at stake today. Rybarikova went on to take the title last year.
Rybarikova has lost her first match for the last 3 tournaments. Makarova’s last 2 tournaments were at Wimbledon and Eastbourne and she reached the quarter finals in both.
Being defending champion should give Rybarikova a boost and being back in Washington will bring back good memories. This is Makarova’s first match on hard courts for a while whereas Rybarikova has played a couple of matches.
We will see a higher price on Makarova but I expect her to get the win.
WTA Bank of the West Classic, 21:00 – Cibulkova won the title last season beating Radwanska in the final. If she is going to defend her title she is going to have to get through a tough first match against Muguruza.
Muguruza is having a great season and has got to the quarter final or better on hard courts, clay and grass. Wimbledon didn’t go so well as she lost in the first round to Vandeweghe in a tight 3rd set. That was her last match before this week.
Cibulkova started her year in almost the best possible way by reaching the Australian Open final. She backed that up with the title on hard courts in Acapulco, a quarter final in Indian Wells, semi final in Miami and a final in Kuala Lumpur. Add to that 3rd rounds at the French Open and Wimbledon and she has already had a superb season.
They have played just once before which was on grass last season and Muguruza won in 2 tight sets.
Cibulkova starts at 1.66 which seems like a fair price. Muguruza has shown she can play great tennis but she will have to do it consistently before she is at the same level as her opponent. Today however it is just one on one and both are capable of taking the win.
I would like to see an early break for Muguruza so I can lay her as i think Cibulkova won’t give up her title without a fight.
WTA Bank of the West Classic, 23:00 – Lisicki and Ivanovic have played twice before. Not surprisingly Lisicki won on grass at Wimbledon in June. Ivanovic won their other meeting which was on clay and also this season.
Lisicki is consistently average on hard courts and second round finishes have been the norm for her in the last 12 months.
In her last hard court tournament Ivanovic won the title in Monterrey. A quarter final in Melbourne and third round in Miami give the impression that Ivanovic is rightly the favourite.
She starts at 1.33 but if Lisicki can serve well that will trade a fair bit higher. once again an early break for the underdog would be perfect to get a better entry on Ivanovic.