The WTA Tournament of Champions continues on Wednesday in Sofia – and we have a new player into the fold.
I said on Tuesday that Maria Kirilenko had been suffering with injury for a while and that Alize Cornet was a good odds-against bet to beat her - and so it proved. But the Russian retired a single game short of the first set being completed, so that wager ended up being void.
That was a frustrating start to proceedings in Sofia, but Kirilenko’s injury, which turned out to be a twisted knee, was bad enough for her to withdraw from the event allowing an opportunity for Elina Svitolina to enter the fray.
There are another three round robin matches on Wednesday in Sofia and interestingly Cornet said that the surface here is "very slow", which is certainly a change from last year here if Cornet’s view is correct.
Samantha Stosur vs Elena Vesnina (BET and WATCH LIVE on Unibet TV from 15.05 GMT)
Assuming that Cornet is accurate with her assessment of conditions here in Sofia, a slow hard court will suit Stosur, as Ana Ivanovic also said at the start of the week.
The Aussie has been in very good form at the end of the season and she went on a run of nine straight wins in Osaka and Moscow before running into the inspired Simona Halep in the Moscow final.
Vesnina has opted to come here rather than play in the Fed Cup Final, as has Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and you would think that she would be up for this, but she may be tired after a run to the final of the doubles in Istanbul and Stosur will be the fresher of the two and her confidence is high.
The 2-0 on Sam looks like the best option here at 1.73
Simona Halep vs Alize Cornet (BET and WATCH LIVE on Unibet TV from 17.05 GMT)
Cornet was playing well yesterday even before Kirilenko suffered her injury, but today she faces the amazing Halep, who has won 18 of her last 22 matches and seems in such a great place at the moment that it’s hard to back against the Romanian.
The layers have cottoned on to this and she will start this 5pm UK time at around 1.17, which seems a tad short and there may be some value on the underdog here who did beat Halep in their only career meeting back in 2011.
Halep is a different proposition these days though and although I won’t be betting in this one due to the short price on Halep, she looks the likely winner here.
Elina Svitolina vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (BET and WATCH LIVE on Unibet TV from 18.05 GMT)
The teenage Ukrainian gets her chance here at around 7pm UK time to impress in what promises to be quite an entertaining affair, with both players keen to go for their shots and there should be plenty of winners and a fair few errors in this one.
It is the first meeting between the pair and it looks the most open match of the three on today’s card.
One assumes that Svitolina has been here practicing diligently on the off chance of getting the call and she’ll enter this match with no pressure on her at all and that should be to her advantage against her more experienced opponent.
The way that these two play lends itself to an up and down affair and I like the 1.98 about Svitolina with a 1.5 set start here against Pavs, who tends to be either very good or quite poor.
Back Svitolina +1.5 sets to beat Pavlyuchenkova at 1.98