Thursday’s WTA play in Stuttgart went pretty much the way I predicted. Night owls would have enjoyed the ridiculously long day at the Porsche Arena, during which Petra Kvitova went past the overs and Sara Errani proved vulnerable at a short price, as I expected.
Friday’s quarter-finals in Stuttgart feature an exhausted Bethanie Mattek-Sands taking on Sabine Lisicki. The late night has surely put paid to the American’s chances in that one. Maria Sharapova faces an in-form but likely tired Ana Ivanovic. While she only scraped past Lucie Safarova yesterday, Maria looks too short at 1.25. Na Li should take advantage of a wayward Kvitova in the evening match, but also looks short at 1.35
The best of the outsiders today could be Yaraslava Shvedova, who is in with a good chance at 3.20 against Angelique Kerber. The German’s win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova may not amount to much with A-Pavs being exhausted after a very busy schedule. Shvedova’s wins over Carla Suarez Navarro and Roberta Vinci, while also having an element of Fed Cup fatigue about them, will be a huge boost for her.
The world number 37 is coming into form at the right time of the season for her, as she loves the clay. Kerber, on the other hand, has had her best results on other surfaces. I like the 1.94 about Slava taking a set in this one.
In Marrakech, I like the chances of big-hitting Kiki Bertens to take down ageing Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez-Lino with a 2.5 game handicap at around 1.65. Bertens has the power to trouble the best, which she showed in dominating Vinci for half of the match in Katowice in her last tournament. Dominguez-Lino doesn’t have anywhere near the ability of the wily Italian.
In her last five events Bertens has lost to Vinci, Errani (twice), Na Li and Mona Barthel and she’s been pretty solid as a moderate favourite in matches this year, losing just one. I like her chances of progressing with a bit to spare in this one.
Back Shvedova +1.5 sets to beat Kerber at 1.94
Back Bertens –2.5 games to beat Dominguez-Lino at 1.65