Wednesday’s card at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix features five second round matches on the indoor clay of Stuttgart.
Former champion Julia Goerges, former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, ex-Wimbledon titlist Petra Kvitova, French Open finalist Sara Errani and Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki are all in action on Wednesday in what looks a decent day’s tennis in prospect.
My two best bets on Tuesday yielded one comfortable winner and one to forget, as Lucie Safarova and Maria Sharpova played out the tight tussle I expected and easily passed the total games mark, while Ajla Tomljanovic was poor in a loss to Alisa Kleybanova.
First up today is Goerges at 11.30 UK time and the erratic German wild card faces a very similar opponent to herself in Sorana Cirstea. I wouldn’t trust either of them and this match doesn’t appeal one bit as a betting contest, with any result and score plausible in this battle of the hit and miss bashers.
Kaia Kanepi 2.55, Sara Errani 1.50
Despite Errani’s prowess on clay, the Italian’s win over Klara Koukalova yesterday was her first ever main draw victory here and the suspicion is that this indoor clay is too quick for her.
Errani is vulnerable to big hitters when there’s pace in the surface and should Kanepi have one of her good days today it’s not out of the question that the tall, powerful Estonian could put the Italian to the sword.
Of their four prior career clashes Kanepi has done just that twice – most recently on indoor hard in Moscow and also on clay in Palermo – while surprisingly Errani’s latest victory over Kanepi came on grass at Wimbledon in 2011 and prior to that in Acapulco way back in 2007.
Kaia looked rather rusty in her opening match here against British lucky loser Johanna Konta, but it was her first match on clay at tour level since the French Open and her first ever at this venue, which of course is unique as the only indoor clay tournament on the WTA calendar.
If she doesn’t improve from that level Errani takes this, but Kanepi should do better after that match and she has conditions bang in her favour if she does bring her best game to the match court today.
It’s a risk with Kanepi, as she may not turn up, so the 4.25 about her winning in straight sets is the play here, as I can’t see her doing it in three.
Ana Ivanovic 1.47, Sabine Lisicki 2.60
The quick conditions should help Lisicki against Ivanovic and if the German is on she could thrill what have been very good crowds here this week with her brand of attacking tennis.
Ivanovic will be tired after her efforts in Fed Cup in Romania, where she was beaten by a peak Cirstea and Lisicki will be far fresher after not playing in Germany’s arduous trip to Australia.
Sabine has a decent record here in Stuttgart, where she beat Jelena Jankovic this round 12 months ago, and surprisingly this will be the first career meeting between this pair.
Lisicki has to play better than her woeful display in Charleston last time out and she’s certain to have spent her time off getting used to the unique conditions here at the Porsche Arena.
But, as ever with Sabine, it’s how she plays on the day and if she’s on she has a fine chance. She could also go down in a sea of unforced errors, as she did in Charleston, but the 2.60 is worth risking in these circumstances.
Back Kanepi to beat Errani 2-0 at 4.25
Back Lisicki to beat Ivanovic at 2.60