WTA Miami Betting: All over for Svedova when she meets Zheng

The two matches that catch my eye today at the 2013 Sony Open are Monica Niculescu against Jamie Hampton and Jie Zheng against Yaroslava Shvedova.

In the opening match of the day it should pay to side with the unusual style of Niculescu when she takes on the ball-bashing Hampton at 3pm UK time on Grandstand Court.

It's almost a rite of passage for a young WTA ball-basher to have to try and nullify the strange slices, moonballs and various other weird and wonderful strokes that come their way from Niculescu's racquet and Hampton has failed once before - in Auckland a year ago.

The American has improved since then, but this will be a tough test for Hampton and I'm not sure she'll pass it.

In the match between Zheng and Shvedova at around 7pm UK time tonight I'm siding with the underdog at around 2.20.

Shvedova has been in awful form in 2013, with just two wins on the tour and her confidence must be at rock bottom right now. Her overall record is 3-7 this season and the only thing going for her today is a 3-1 head-to-head lead over Zheng. None of those matches were more recent than 2011 though and current form means that Zheng is clearly the value pick.

Jie had a shocker at Indian Wells losing to Ksenia Pervak 6-1, 6-2 and on a fast court Caro Wozniacki hammered her in Dubai, but she'd been on a good run there up until then and she can play here in Miami too, where she defeated Angelique Kerber last year.

It could be argued that these slow hard courts will suit Shvedova, but that should also be the case at Indian Wells. However, she lost in the first round there, to continue her poor form this year.

Best Bets

Back Niculescu to beat Hampton at 1.68

Back Zheng to beat Shvedova at 2.20

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