It was back to winning ways on Tuesday at the Katowice Open, as my suspicion that Julia Goerges would be a shaky 1.09 shot proved correct.
The German produced her usual mix of brilliance and club level mediocrity. All that the 38-year-old American Jill Craybas had to do was to be solid and wait for the errors to fly off the racquet of Goerges to cover the 6.5 game handicap.
In the end Craybas was able to more than that and came away with the win, rewarding those that were on the veteran at a huge 7.0 when a supposedly under the weather Goerges retired when 4-1 down in the third set.
Wednesday’s play in Poland sees the big guns out in force, as the numbers one, two and three seeds are all in action today.
Petra Kvitova makes her tournament debut against diminutive Japanese left-hander Misaki Doi, while number two Roberta Vinci faces Andrea
Hlavackova and Klara Zakopalova takes on Maria Elena Camerin.
Kvitova tends not to spend too much of her season playing on clay, but she did reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros last year in her most recent dirt event and she won Madrid in 2011. So she’s no slouch on the surface and should have way too much for Doi.
There are a couple of matches that catch my eye in terms of backing the underdog today and they both take place on Court 1, where I can’t be backing Sabine Lisicki at 1.25 against Alexandra Cadantu.
Lisicki has lost three of her last four matches at that sort of price against mediocre opposition and like her big hitting compatriot Goerges, she just doesn’t produce consistently enough to be priced up as short as that.
Cadantu plays a lot on clay and has three matches under her belt here in Katowice without dropping a set, while Lisicki has travelled from the USA for this and 1.25 is a shocking price. I’ll be backing Cadantu with a 4.5 game start at 2.06.
I also like taking a chance on young Slovakian Karolina Anna Schmiedlova to take down Petra Martic today at around 1.96.
Schmiedlova has been in fine form here this week and she destroyed number five seed Alize Cornet for the loss of just three games in the first round yesterday.
Martic has been poor this season, with her win here on Tuesday over Elina Svitolina being her first victory of the season. She’d lost six straight before that and in all she’s lost 12 of her 18 matches since the French Open last year.
On pure form, Schmiedlova has to be value here in their first meeting.
Back Cadantu +4.5 games to beat Lisicki at 2.06
Back Schmiedlova to beat Martic at 1.96