Zheng v Makarova:
They have never played. Both are playing their first match for over a month and also the first on clay for a while.
Zheng did well in Miami and beat Kerber in straight sets. She reached the third round where she was beaten by Cibulkova. She reached the 4th round of the Oz Open where she beat Bartoli but she has had very little success between these 2 tournaments.
Makarova also had a good tournament in Miami where Mona Barthel was beaten in straight sets. At the Oz Open she beat Kanepi, Zvonareva and Serena Williams all in 2 sets before losing to Sharapova in the quarter finals.
Makarova is the better clay court player but both will be rusty so expect many breaks of serve. 1.52 is way too low on her and I will be watching for a higher entry. Makarova’s class will come through in the end but a slow start from her would be perfect.
Update: Both were rusty at the start although I felt Makarova looked slightly better in the first few games. Then her confidence seemed to drain away from her and she was broken. She immediately broke back but lost her serve again. Zheng held serve for the set. Zheng was growing in confidence herself and the second set was very one sided.
Zheng won 6-3, 6-1.
Rosol v Kubot:
Head to heads are 1-1 and Rosol won their only previous match on clay.
Kubot reached the quarter finals last week losing to eventual winner Simon.
Rosol recently beat Troicki in the Davis Cup on clay. He has had some respectable wins on the hard courts beating Llodra and Granollers. He lost in the first round in Barcelona to Paire in straight sets.
Rosol on his day can give Kubot some problems and I am reluctant to back Kubot at 1.50 . As always I will be waiting for a slow start which will give me time to assess their play in the early games. I have a nagging doubt that Kubot will find this easy.
Update: The nagging doubt proved to be correct.
Rosol won 7-5, 6-2.