The quarter-finals of the 2013 Challenge Bell take place on Friday in Quebec, with play starting at 5pm UK time today.
My sole wager on Thursday was a winner, as Lauren Davis came out on top against Andrea Hlavackova in three sets, while there were two retirements from the other four matches.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands fell badly in her match with Ajla Tomljanovic and had to retire in the third set, while Petra Martic quit in the second set of her match with Kiki Mladenovic with gastroenteritis.
Polona Hercog vs Christina McHale
Hercog has been in fine form here in Quebec this week, but at today’s prices I think it’s well worth taking the Slovenian on against the gritty McHale. The American fought hard to get the better of the much-touted Caroline Garcia in the previous round here and Hercog’s price looks short and may be artificially low due to two easy wins so far.
She’s yet to go past this last eight stage at any indoor hard tournament and I’m not convinced that at this stage of her career she has the consistency to be rated as favourite today. McHale’s victory over Hercog in their one previous meeting was so long ago that is has no relevance today, but she is a former semi-finalist here and at 2.20 she looks the value in this encounter.
Eugenie Bouchard vs Kristina Mladenovic
I have to side with Mladenovic here based on the lack of fitness exhibited by Bouchard so far this week. One gets the feeling that if she weren’t playing at home Bouchard wouldn’t be turning out this week. She’s already quit the doubles and the thigh problem she had coming into this tournament still seems to be a problem.
Bouchard has sneaked through so far and Sesil Karatantcheva would probably have beaten her last night had she not thrown in 16 double faults. Kiki should make her work hard tonight in their first career meeting. The French player had a much easier night of it after Martic retired sick and on the respective fitness and fatigue levels of the two players I think that Mladenovic is the value in this one at 1.90.
Back McHale to beat Hercog at 2.20
Back Mladenovic to beat Bouchard at 1.90
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