It’s quarter finals day at Yale at the New Haven Open, with the action kicking off at around 6pm UK time on Thursday evening.
My two best bets yesterday returned one winner when Simona Halep recovered from a slow start to cover the handicap against Carla Suarez Navarro, while Sara Errani had a shocker against Ekaterina Makarova and the number one seed went out.
Tonight’s play begins at 6pm UK time with Makarova taking on Halep, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova faces defending champion Petra Kvitova at the same time.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Petra Kvitova
This will be the eighth meeting between this pair with Kvitova leading 4-3, although I wouldn’t want to place too much of my money on the Czech winning this at a price of around 1.50.
Pavs is very dangerous when she hits form and she could well be peaking at the right time ahead of the US Open after a spell in the doldrums this summer. The Russian is a streak player and will be looking to build on the momentum gained in defeating Sabine Lisicki in the previous round, while Kvitova has struggled her way to deciding set wins over Alison Riske and Annika Beck in her two matches here so far this week.
Petra’s last five matches on the tour have all gone to three sets and this one has the look of a tight battle about it to me, so I’m happy to side with the 1.57 on Pavs with a 1.5 set start on the handicap here.
Caroline Wozniacki vs Sloane Stephens
The late match at 12am UK time is an interesting clash between Wozniacki, who had the doctor out yesterday due to heat exhaustion, and Stephens, who can’t seem to keep her best level up for more than short spells at a time.
The Dane does have a very good record at this event, but she’s not been impressive this week at all, benefitting from a retirement from Shuai Peng and the illness affected struggle over Karin Knapp last night.
Stephens has also stuttered through and typically dropped off during set two of a three set win over the erratic Julia Goerges last night before regrouping - and I anticipate another up and down match tonight.
The pair are meeting for only the second time on tour, the first being back in 2011 when Caro was at the peak of her pushing powers and Sloane was a rookie, so that has little relevance and the bet I like here is the over 21.5 games at 1.88.
Back Pavlyuchenkova +1.5 sets to beat Kvitova at 1.57
Back over 21.5 games in Wozniacki vs Stephens at 1.88