The second round gets underway at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday, with 16 matches to consider on day three of the 2014 US Open.
Tuesday’s play didn’t offer a huge amount to get excited by, either as a fan or a punter, and consequently I went for just the one bet on the day, which was for Klara Koukalova to finally end her US Open hoodoo.
Sadly for Koukie and for me she failed from a break up in the final set against an opponent who hadn’t played for over a month and her losing streak here goes to 11.
Wednesday’s second round matches offer some much more competitive action, with the likes of Venus Williams, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Caro Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova all in action, but the betting value lies elsewhere.
All bar one of the 16 scheduled women’s matches are on TV courts today, with Roberta Vinci and Irina Camelia Begu the duo that miss out and it’s set to be another hot and sunny day today, with temperatures hitting 30C once more.
I can’t see any of the above mentioned players losing or probably even being tested, but Aga Radwanska could have a fight on her hands on Louis Armstrong at 16:00 UK time.
Agnieszka Radwanska vs Shuai Peng
The Chinese player has been a tough nut for the Pole to crack over the years, with her double-handed style and flattish, consistent hitting having success against Radwanska.
Peng has been in good form of late too and she was a little unlucky against Garbiñe Muguruza last week in New Haven when she was put off her stride by some poor line calls with no challenges remaining.
Prior to that she had a good run through qualies and took down the talented Elina Svitolina in straight sets and she’s won 13 of her last 17 matches in all competitions this summer.
Radwanska will probably find a way to win this, but I can’t see it being easy and she’ll get the test that she perhaps needs after facing an opponent just back from injury in round one.
The heat surely won’t help Aga and the +5.5 games on Peng at 1.98 looks decent in this one.
The other four on my shortlist today are Monica Puig, Begu, Alizé Cornet and Karumi Nara and I do think that perhaps the best value of these lies with Puig if she’s fit.
Monica Puig vs Andrea Petkovic
Petko has struggled in her last few matches this summer and after blowing numerous chances to beat Kirsten Flipkens in straight sets and ending up losing in New Haven she struggled past Ons Jabeur first up here.
The German didn’t look like she fancied the job against Jabeur and in the end she won just one more point against the 5.90 shot.
Puig also came through a three set battle in round one against the tricky Tereza Smitkova and my only real concern in this one is that Puig did take a MTO during that first round match.
She didn’t seem too bothered by whatever it was though and having beaten Petkovic twice in the past and with the New York crowd firmly behind her she has a real shot here.
Puig loves these big matches and I would be more confident about her handling the hot conditions at around 15:00 local time (20:00 UK) than Petkovic and the +3.5 games on the Puerto Rican at 1.92 looks good.
Perhaps Nara is a touch short against Belinda Bencic, but she would be my pick in that one, while I like Cornet’s chances of taking down the slumping Dani Hantuchova with a bit to spare.
Alizé Cornet vs Daniela Hantuchova
It looks like not far from the end for the 31-year-old Slovak, who has had a really poor time of it generally this season and who struggled against arguably the best draw of the opening round in Romina Oprandi.
The injury-hit Oprandi hasn’t won a single main draw match on tour since making the final of Marrakech in April, yet Hantuchova had to dig deep to see off the Swiss on Tuesday, which give a good clue as to her level these days.
Her awkward movement is all too readily exposed by the better players and Dani hasn’t won so much as a single set against a top-20 player since beating Petra Kvitova in Madrid on clay in May 2013.
She has one top-20 win in her last 20 attempts, stretching all the way back to February 2012, and that was against Sara Errani, so the signs are ominous for Hantuchova today.
Cornet has had a good season all told, beating Serena Williams twice, winning Katowice and making the final in Dubai and perhaps those efforts took their toll, as she struggled early in the hard court summer swing.
This looks a good opportunity to not only move on here in New York, but to make her 3-6 record against Hantuchova – all of which were between three and seven years ago – look more respectable.
The 2-0 to Cornet at 1.78 looks good considering Dani’s woeful recent record against good opposition.
Back Peng +5.5 games to beat Radwanska at 1.98
Back Puig +3.5 games to beat Petkovic at 1.92
Back Cornet to beat Hantuchova 2-0 at 1.78