On a rain-affected day in New York on Wednesday, the men’s tournament took priority, leaving many ladies’ second round matches carried over to today.
Yesterday, Ash Barty found Nastia Pavlyuchenkova on a good day and the Russian won eight straight games from 4-4 in set one to ruin my handicap bet, while Coco Vandeweghe failed to hit top form in her loss to Carla Suarez Navarro.
Paula Ormaechea’s match with Sabine Lisicki has been moved to today and it’s another packed schedule, thanks to the rain, with 24 matches on the card for Thursday.
Camila Giorgi vs Su Wei Hsieh
I like the odds on the resurgent Italian in this match, where Giorgi is available to back at around 1.77. I make her around 1.66, so I’m happy to take a bigger price here.
Giorgi had been struggling for a long time with a shoulder problem, according to both the player and her fitness trainer. She does need matches of course, but hasn’t shown any sort of rustiness so far, with just five games conceded in her last two matches here in New York.
Hsieh is an awkward opponent with an unusual double handed style and I suggested that she was value against Klara Zakopalova a few days ago and so it proved. It might be a tough battle, but I like the Italian to progress here.
Petra Kvitova vs Bojana Jovanovski
Flushing Meadows is not the happiest of hunting grounds for former Wimbledon champion Kvitova, who is yet to pass the fourth round in New York. It could be that the often stifling, humid conditions don’t suit her health issues and she may well struggle again today if Jovanovski plays anything like as well as she did in the previous round.
Whilst admittedly aided by en error-ridden showing from Andrea Petkovic, Jovanovksi showed that she is back to fitness after a wrist problem. The Serb is little more than a ball basher at the top level, but she can crush the ball and this could be a real heavyweight clash. Kvitova has so rarely shown her best level from start to finish in matches this year that it should pay to side with the Serb here +1.5 sets at around 2.0.
Other underdogs that I’m tempted by today include Eugenie Bouchard at 3.30 against the out-of-form Angelique Kerber, Alison Riske at 2.40 against Mona Barthel, and flavour of the month Simona Halep looks awfully short at 1.17 against up-and-coming Donna Vekic. I’m also tempted by the odds on Lucie Safarova, who if she’s fit, could cause all sort of problems for Roberta Vinci. The Czech is so hit and miss it’s hard to trust her, but the 2-0 Safarova at 6.0 is interesting for small stakes if she’s on a go day.
Back Giorgi to beat Hsieh at 1.77
Back Jovanovski +1.5 sets to beat Kvitova at 2.0