The WTA Tour returns today after a break for the Fed Cup and the big tournament this week takes place in Doha. The Qatar Total Open 2013 features all of the top stars of the women’s game, with the exception of Na Li, who is still struggling with the ankle injury she incurred in the Australian Open final.
Today’s schedule features Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic, but the match that I feel offers the most value is the last singles match on Court 1 between Simona Halep and Olga Govortsova. Neither of these players are in great form right now, but I’m not sure that Belarusian should be favourite for this.
Halep’s recent results don’t make pleasant reading for her fans, but she’s had a tough start to the year with her opponents. She played well in these conditions last year, both here in Doha and in Dubai, where she scored some good wins over the likes of Daniela Hantuchova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Those memories will help her in the next couple of weeks.
Govortsova, like Halep, has only won two matches this year and it’s the 6-3, 6-1 loss to Jarmila Gajdosova on hard in Hobart that would worry me as a Govortsova backer today. Halep has a similar game to the Aussie, but is better at it and this match up for my money favours the Romanian.
They have met on just once, in similar conditions in Dubai a couple of years ago. Halep came out on top then, so I can’t find any reason why Govortsova is favourite today. Halep’s game tends to be more reliable from the baseline and she has conditions in her favour, so at 2.10 I’m happy to be with the Romanian today.
Best bet: Back Halep to beat Govortsova at 2.10