We’re into the second week of the 2013 US Open and it’s been another unpredictable start to a women’s major, after a similar situation at Wimbledon a few months ago.
Some of the matches on the schedule for today would have been difficult to visualise pre-tournament, but the likes of Alison Riske and Camila Giorgi are here on merit and takes their chances on Monday in New York.
Camila Giorgi vs Roberta Vinci
This all-Italian match is the first meeting between this pair and what a clash of styles we are likely to witness on Grandstand at 4pm UK time when these two clash.
Giorgi has had a remarkable run through qualifying here this week. She’s played six matches already and thoroughly deserved her win over Caroline Wozniacki last up, which was achieved via her all-out-attack approach.
Camila only really knows one way to play and that fearless attitude will either see her sink or swim today, against one of the craftiest players on tour in Vinci.
The number 10 seed will utilise her all court game to try and disrupt Giorgi’s rhythm. Giorgi will have to hit right through Vinci to win this and while it’s entirely possible that she will, she’s got to be feeling it after just returning from a shoulder injury. I suspect that Vinci will prevail here.
She’s too short for me at 1.43 though. Seven of Vinci’s last eight matches have gone over 9.5 games in the first set and six of Giorgi’s last eight (main draw) have done the same. It may take a while for this one to settle down and I like the over 9.5 games in set one at 2.18.
Ana Ivanovic vs Victoria Azarenka
Both of these players were made to work very hard to progress in the previous round and Ivanovic was a few points away from defeat against Christina McHale, while Vika had to come from a set down against Alize Cornet.
The pair have met on six previous occasions and the number two seed leads 4-2 in career meetings so far. Last time out in Carlsbad, Azarenka was rusty after coming back from injury and Ana pushed her hard, but I expect a more straightforward win this time for the Belarusian.
This match will be played on Ashe at 5.30pm UK time and I’m not sure that I like Ana’s ball toss in the gusty wind that tends to swirl around Ashe. It’s all over the place at the best of times and another concern for Ana backers is that she has been bageled by Vika twice in their last two meetings. I would lean towards the -5.5 games on the handicap here on Azarenka at 1.60.
Alison Riske vs Dani Hantuchova
A big day for both of these women, with the vastly more experienced Hantuchova the underdog at 2.30, which is a little surprising and perhaps an overreaction by the layers to Riske’s destruction of an under the weather Petra Kvitova last time out.
To my knowledge this is the first time that Riske will have played on Ashe and that’s a big factor, as it’s such a unique playing atmosphere and for me Riske is too short at 1.60.
Dani’s matches are rarely without drama and she has beaten Riske both times they’ve met in the past on Riske’s favoured grass, so I like the over 21.5 games here at 1.94.
Simona Halep vs Flavia Pennetta
The Italian has played some of her best tennis in a long time here this week and she’s not without a chance against the very much in-form Romanian.
Halep was exhausted the last time these two met on the clay in Bastad and retired in set three thee, but she should have the edge here. However, 1.24 looks too short for me take an interest and I’d rather side with Pennetta here at odds-against to take a set.
Back over 9.5 games in set one of Giorgi/Vinci at 2.18
Back over 21.5 games in Hantuchova/Riske at 1.94
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