There are 17 WTA matches to choose from on a busy day of tennis across this week’s two tournaments in Washington DC and Carlsbad.
Yesterday’s wager on Monica Puig looked very good after the opening set, which Monica took easily, but she faded badly in the final two sets.
Laura Robson is in action tonight in Carlsbad at around 10.30pm UK time against Ayumi Morita and this is not a match that I would want to get involved in given that it’s Laura’s first match for a while and Morita is still in need of court time after a wrist injury.
Heather Watson also plays tonight after splitting with coach Mauricio Hadad recently and the Briton is now working with Jeremy Bates for the hard court swing. Under these circumstances and her recent struggles to return to form following glandular fever, I wouldn’t recommend the 1.26 on her today against Alexandra Mueller.
Vania King had a good run here last year and opponent Alison Riske has a poor record on hard courts at tour level and has won just a single set at tour level on hard. King has a 2-0 head-to-head lead over her fellow American, but lost to her at World Team Tennis recently. That one is on at 3am UK time and perhaps not worth staying up for with King a shaky 1.75 shot.
New sensation Taylor Townsend may receive a free learning experience from the master of junk Monica Niculescu tonight. The 17-year-old Townsend has conditions to suit, but Niculescu’s unusual style of play has bamboozled many a young tyro before and probably will again tonight.
Yanina Wickmayer has called upon the services of yet another coach/advisor, this time in the form of Sabine Appelmans and her match tonight with the equally flaky Alize Cornet looks one to avoid too.
Madison Keys should get the kind of ball she loves from Michelle Larcher de Brito tonight, but she’s very short at 1.28 and bigger value lies with Eugenie Bouchard at around 2.90 against Ekaterina Makarova.
Bouchard is another who’s been playing World Team Tennis so she has her eye in on the hard courts, while Makarova really struggles in this part of the tour and looks short at 1.40. The only time that the Russian leftie has ever been beyond the third round of any tournament on this swing was when she won one match to reach the last eight of Forest Hills back in 2008, which suggests these conditions aren’t to her liking.
Ekaterina has never played this tournament and the extreme heat and fast courts will take a while to get used to for someone who hasn’t played since Wimbledon, so I’m going to take Bouchard here with a 4.5 game start. The Canadian will be confident after a decent Wimbledon, where she beat Ana Ivanovic and, after ideal preparation in WTT, the 1.80 about her on the handicap looks the call.
Best Bet: Back Bouchard +4.5 games to beat Makarova at 1.80