The week immediately following a Grand Slam can often prove to be a frustrating affair and that's definitely proving the case in the Open GDF Suez.
Tuesday’s bet went down when Sofia Arvidsson, who was apparently suffering from flu, started and ended in lacklustre fashion against Alize Cornet.
The Swede went 5-0 down in set one and was bagelled in set three by Cornet in a strange match that one still felt that the Frenchwoman could lose, even at 5-0 up in the decider against a below-par opponent.
Following that, number seven seed Julia Goerges went out to Kristina Mladenovic, despite the German leading 5-2 in the final set. ANothe underdog, Carla Suarez Navarro, also won in straight sets against Monica Niculescu, to continue the shocks in Paris this week. Indeed, only Roberta Vinci was victorious on Tuesday as a favourite.
Let’s hope for better on Wednesday, as the likes of Petra Kvitova and Marion Bartoli enter the tournament, but both face opponents who may cause them problems.
Bartoli takes on Christina McHale, who showed some fine form in defeating Pauline Parmentier in round one. The American did take down Bartoli in straight sets in New York on hard courts a couple of years ago. If she’s back to full fitness, it could well be a tough match for the number three seed and McHale +1.5 sets at 1.80 is a wager worth considering.
Kvitova too is one worth being cautious about before piling in on the 1.29 on her against Stefanie Voegele, who has been in rare form so far this week. The Swiss won the pair’s most recent meeting when Kvitova was a similar price to today and I prefer taking a chance on the bigger price of 3.05 rather than trust Kvitova, whose form this year has been awful.
Arguably the match of the day takes place at 10am UK time between Yanina Wickmayer and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and I favour the Belgian in these sort of conditions over the inconsistent Russian.
Wickmayer reached the semi-finals here last year before losing a close one to eventual champion Angelique Kerber and her attacking game seems to suit these Paris courts.
She has been in good form since overcoming long term injury issues that plagued her for some time and 2013 has seen her show her true form free of those concerns.
A run to the final in Auckland was followed by a third round showing in Melbourne, where she lost to Maria Kirilenko and she’ll be keen to produce another strong performance here in Paris.
Pavlyuchenkova has also been in decent touch this year, with a run to the final in Brisbane, but she lost in round one in Melbourne, which will have been a blow and I’m not convinced by her on indoor hard.
Nastia’s results indoors have been very patchy with a 6-8 record since 2009 and she has recorded only three wins at WTA Tour level on indoor hard in her career – the rest came in Fed Cup matches.
Her movement isn’t the best and I would certainly have Wickmayer down as the better mover of the two and in a match that should involved plenty of winners and a fair few errors, I give the edge to the Belgian.
Best Bet: Back Wickmayer to beat Pavlyuchenkova at 1.77
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