The WTA Tour switches from the west coast of the USA to Canada this week, with the Rogers Cup taking place this year in Toronto. Conditions in this Premier 5 event are usually on the slow side for a hard court, although they do use the Wilson US Open balls, which tend bounce fairly high.
The defending champion here is Petra Kvitova, who is in need of a decent week in order to retain ranking points. Serena Williams is the clear favourite this week, however. Today’s schedule features 11 WTA matches, starting at 4pm UK time with Flavia Pennetta versus Urszula Radwanska on Centre Court.
Laura Robson is in action today at around 6pm UK time against Yanina Wickmayer, who has been really struggling for form for a while now. This represents a decent chance for the Brit to make progress in conditions that should suit her game. I’m not sure that Laura’s recent form is good enough for her to warrant a 1.55 quote, though. It looks to me like the price is based more on the poor form of the erratic Wickmayer.
But I do like the chances of Alison Riske against Kiki Bertens at a price of 1.72 at around 8pm UK time. Bertens has been really struggling in recent weeks on the tour after an ankle injury that proved extremely troublesome. She would perhaps have been better advised to rest rather than continue to play whilst injured.
Riske had no hard court form at tour level whatsoever until last week in Washington, where she recorded her first victory on hard on the tour lifetime. The American defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands in qualies here to reach this stage and the confidence that she gained during a great grass court swing has transferred to hard now, which makes her dangerous.
Bertens defeated a tired Paula Ormaechea in qualifying and needs more matches to find a decent level. I’m happy to side with Alison in this one in the first meeting between the pair.
Best bet: Back Riske to beat Bertens at 1.72