Tatishvili v Rus:
Tatishvili leads the head to heads 2-1. On clay they are 1-1 with Tatishvili winning their most recent match on clay in June last year.
Tatishvili has played just 1 clay event this year losing in the second round in Acapulco last month.
Clay is most certainly Rus’ favourite surface. Last week she won an ITF event in America beating two players who were ranked higher than her. She dropped just 2 sets all week.
Rus starts as favourite at 1.69 but with the head to heads there is a very good chance that we will get a higher price on her in the early part of the opening set. She is the lower ranked player here but I feel she is the better claycourter and will come through as the winner although she may need 3 sets.
Update: Rus ran away with the opening set. Tatishvili fought back to take the next 2 sets with just 1 break separating them in each.
Tatishvili won 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Zvonareva v K Bondarenko:
Zvonarave leads the head to heads 2-0 although they have never played on clay.
What an awful start to the season Vera has had. She has been hit by illness which hasn’t helped but she has looked to be lacking in confidence and the tears have returned on more than 1 occasion.
In 2010 she reached the Final in Charleston losing to Stosur and she says it is one of her favourite events. She also says she is feeling good and is illness/sickness free.
Today she is up against Bondarenko who was a little disappointing yesterday against Govortsova. She came back from a set down and also from being a break down in the third set. Her own 9 double faults hurt her and I feel that even against an out of form Zvonareva she can’t serve so badly in this one and get away with it.
Zvonareva has either pulled out of or quit during matches 3 times this season with the last one being in Indian Wells due to illness. ( She certainly wasn’t the only one affected there).
I think even a below par Vera will be able to take this one. Bondarenko is outclassed on paper and if her serve doesn’t improve from her last match she is in big trouble.
I can’t back Vera at 1.50 though and am initially wanting at least 1.80 though that may change when I see how much pressure she is able to put on her opponent’s serve early in the set.
Update: Is Vera back? She won 6-1, 6-1.