The first round completes and second round begins in Poland at the BNP Paribas Katowice Open on Wednesday.
An injured and very much below par Vera Dushevina was second best on Tuesday to a snood-wearing Fran Schiavone in what turned out to be the most comfortable win for the Italian veteran since beating Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-1, 6-1 at the US Open back in 2011.
Dushevina came out heavily taped up and had the trainer out at the end of a first set that she lost 6-0 and the Russian was never in the match at any stage – quite possibly due to injury limitations.
There are half a dozen matches to consider on Wednesday, with the late match again looking the pick of the day and once more involving Italian players.
Camila Giorgi 1.72 vs Roberta Vinci 2.06 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 19.35
This one could arguably be seen as the new guard replacing the old in Italian women’s tennis, with the up and coming Giorgi looking to defeat the 31-year-old Vinci, who will just about cling to her top-20 place this week if she doesn’t go very deep.
Just two wins from 10 matches in 2014 isn’t top-20 form and on a surface that does take a bit of pace and that clearly suits Giorgi, this one on current form should go the way of the younger player.
Camila looked very focused and produced a great performance against a rather limited defensive type in Katarzyna Piter in the opening round and, while Vinci will be a different proposition, I’m not convinced that Roberta will be able to do a great deal about it if Giorgi brings her ‘A’ game to the court.
That is the big question before any Giorgi match. Will we see the one that turned up against Piter and the one that’s beaten Maria Sharapova, Sorana Cirstea and Andrea Petkovic this season?
Or the one that has lost to Carina Witthoeft, Karolina Pliskova and Zarina Dyas of late?
Vinci produced a handy enough display first up here yesterday in easing past Ksenia Pervak, but if Giorgi is on form the conditions here in Katowice and the weight of shot possessed by Camila should ensure that Vinci doesn’t have time on the ball to use her all-court game as she likes to do.
In front of the brooding presence of her controversial and questionable-looking father courtside this looks a good opportunity for Giorgi to chalk one up for the young generation of Italian players.
Both Vinci and Schiavone have said that the courts here are either “fast” or “very fast”, which I must say I wouldn’t completely agree with, but they do look like the kind of conditions that my second bet today should enjoy.
Tsvetana Pironkova 1.52 vs Shahar Peer 2.45 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 11.05
Tsveti loves a fast surface, as she showed once again in Sydney at the start of this season when beating all comers, including the likes of Sara Errani, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova and indeed Peer in taking that title.
The Bulgarian followed that up with wins over Vinci and Sorana Cirstea and her poor career head-to-head against today’s opponent has made the layers a little unsure about this one.
Former top-20 player Peer has been struggling for a long time now and her win over a really poor Petra Martic here in the opening round was her first tour level main draw victory of 2014.
It was a fairly awful match and Peer doesn’t have the kind of game to make the ball zip through the court at speed on these courts, unlike the more flatter-hitting style of Andrea Hlavackova, who should have beaten Pironkova in the first round here.
Pironkova was able to turn that one around and played well in the end, but memories of her almost double bagel loss to Kerber in slower conditions than she’d like in Miami and the poor career record against Peer have combined to make her just about a backable price today at 1.53.
Back Giorgi to beat Vinci at 1.72
Back Pironkova to beat Peer at 1.53