The WTA week in Linz got off to a good start yesterday when Stefanie Voegele came back from a set down to defeat Klara Zakopalova.
The Swiss finished that match off in style with a 6-0 final set whitewash against the Czech and she’ll be glad to have that tricky first round match out of the way after initially being drawn to face Lisa-Marie Moser.
Today’s play in Austria features number two seed Sloane Stephens and number three Ana Ivanovic plus the likes of Andrea Petkovic, Dominika Cibulkova and Kirsten Flipkens.
Julia Goerges vs Camila Giorgi
This 1pm UK time start should be highly entertaining, with both of these ladies loving nothing better than to go for their shots and if they’re on form it could be well worth a watch.
Goerges made the final here last year and she’ll be keen to do something similar again, but her form has been really poor lately, with two wins in her last 13 matches. The German understandably has little in the way of confidence at the moment and her second serve is sure to be targeted by the diminutive, but big-hitting Italian.
Giorgi seems to be over her recent shoulder problems if yesterday’s excellent performance in victory over Renata Voracova is anything to go by and that match will have her more attuned to conditions here. Goerges is up against it in this one and the 1.67 about a Giorgi win here seems like decent value.
Sloane Stephens vs Magdalena Rybarikova
The late match in Linz tonight could well be another good one to watch with initial number one seed (before Angelique Kerber muscled her way into the draw at the last minute) Stephens faces the tall, tricky Slovak Rybarikova.
Stephens was last seen in a really poor loss to Caroline Wozniacki in which she seemed to run out of ideas and give up far too early and anything like that again here will see the American buying her plane ticket earlier home than expected here.
Rybarikova may have been paying physically for a great run early on in the hard court swing when she won Washington and made the Toronto last eight, as her form has dipped. But she certainly has the craft to make Sloane have to think today.
Stephens if often overrated by the layers and the 1.55 on Rybarikova taking a set here looks good to me. Magda won their only previous meeting on a hard court in Washington last year and this could well be a tough night for Stephens.
Back Giorgi to beat Goerges at 1.67
Back Rybarikova +1.5 sets to beat Stephens at 1.55