It was a profitable day at La Caja Magica on Wednesday, as Kaia Kanepi made light work of Carla Suarez Navarro in the opening match of the day. Kanepi went from 0-2 down to claim 12 of the next 14 games, recording a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over the out of sorts Spaniard, who didn’t seem to offer any resistance once Kanepi found her range.
Julia Goerges withdrew from the Mutua Madrid Open ahead of her match with Varvara Lepchenko with a gastrointestinal problem. That rest that Lepchenko had yesterday will stand her in good stead ahead of this evening’s clash with Sara Errani.
Errani has a poor record here in Madrid, where her crafty game can be overpowered in the quick conditions at altitude. She’d only ever won two matches on the dirt at La Caja Magica before this tournament. Sorana Cirstea was not far from taking Errani down in their second round match here (the Romanian won more points in the match than the Italian) but was unable to finish things off.
Lepchenko has already beaten Errani’s friend and doubles partner Roberta Vinci here this week and she’s becoming a bit of a thorn in the Italians’ side after defeating both on clay in Fed Cup a few months ago. Errani is certainly too short here at around 1.40 and the Lepchenko +1.5 sets at 1.73 looks a good bet to me.
In the day’s first match at 10am UK time Sabine Lisicki could well cause Maria Sharapova a few problems if her radar is on - but I doubt she’ll have the consistency to actually beat Maria. The Lisicki +1.5 sets at 3.05 is worth considering in that one.
In the match that follows it seems highly likely that Serena Williams will cruise past Maria Kirilenko, who is 0-6 against Serena. Elsewhere, I wouldn’t be too happy to put my money down at 1.48 on Ekaterina Makarova to beat Marion Bartoli after the Russian’s comeback win over Vika Azarenka. Makarova isn’t exactly consistent and that looks one for the overs.
Best bet: Back Lepchenko +1.5 sets to beat Errani at 1.73