The WTA Tour makes the move from Stanford to Carlsbad and Washington DC in Week 31, with one Premier event and one International event on offer this week.
The larger of the two tournaments takes place in Carlsbad, California, where three top 10 stars and a host of other big names make up the field for the Southern California Open, which is played on medium paced hard courts.
Over on the east coast in Washington DC conditions will be hot, sticky and rather quick at the Citi Open, which is a combined ATP/WTA event - also on hard courts. There are 11 first round matches (plus a few remaining qualifiers) across both venues tonight, starting at 7pm UK time at each tournament.
The match that immediately stands out for me in terms of potential value has to be to side with Monica Puig at odds-against versus Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Carlsbad.
I rate Puig highly and love her attitude on court. She’s a real talent and combined with her determined, pugnacious demeanour she looks to have a bright future in the game. I watched her courtside at Wimbledon last month and her tenacity is obvious, along with fine ball striking ability.
I was also pleased to see that she’s been putting in the hard yards with Gil Reyes and the Adidas crew in training over in Las Vegas, which seems to have benefitted Sorana Cirstea too - and that can only help her in tonight’s match.
They kick off at the somewhat anti social hour of around 5am UK time, but it could be worth getting up early for as Mattek-Sands has a really poor record on North American hard courts and looks really short at 1.45.
Since reaching the semi finals in Los Angeles way back in 2008 Bethanie has failed to make it past the second round of any hard court tournament in North America and I can only assume that the prices today are based on the 2-1 head-to-head record that the American holds over Puig. They have played twice on hard courts in 2013 and the score standing at one win each, so there’s clearly not much in it based on that and for me there’s plenty of value in the 2.67 on Monica here.
Best Bet: Back Puig to beat Mattek-Sands at 2.67