Round two of the Generali Ladies Linz is in play today in Austria, with Sabine Lisicki, Genie Bouchard and Domi Cibulkova all in action on Wednesday.
We start at 11:30 UK time today and there were to be are half a dozen matches to consider today in this International level tournament, but Ana Ivanovic has withdrawn, so we’re down to five.
There wasn’t much joy yesterday when Karolina Pliskova was too good on the day for Kirsten Flipkens, who was overpowered by the Czech.
Dominika Cibulkova vs Anna-Lena Friedsam
The bigger than expected price on Cibulkova here is due to a bit of an unknown situation regarding the fitness of the Slovak.
Cibulkova retired with an Achilles problem against Madison Keys in Wuhan a fortnight ago and she has since been diagnosed as having an acute inflammation of the Achilles tendon.
That saw her skip Beijing last week, but she’s back and after a discussion with her doctor that apparently went well Domi is looking forward to be playing here this week.
So, assuming she’s fit and well she shouldn’t face too many problems overcoming Friedsam in this 13:00 UK time start.
Cibulkova made the final here in Linz in 2011 and the quarters last year, losing out to Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova respectively, so she likes the conditions at this tournament.
Friedsam laboured past what seemed to be an injured Alexandra Panova in the final round of qualifying here and although it could take a little while for Domi to get going she looks likely to cover a minus 2.5 game handicap at 1.75.
I said yesterday that I was tempted by Klara Koukalova and she just about managed to grab the win over Katerina Siniakova in a final set tie break, but today she has her work cut out against Marina Erakovic.
The Kiwi goes well indoors and she should win that one, but she’s a little short at 1.48 for my liking there.
Lisicki was a late entry into this tournament and she will be involved in a big-hitting encounter with Karin Knapp at 14:30 today, which could easily become tough for the favourite.
Knapp +1.5 sets is worthy of consideration in that one and she’ll be hoping for better than the 6-0 final set that she suffered against Lisicki when this pair met indoors in Luxembourg at the end of last season.
Bouchard should have too much power for the limited Austrian Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, but Genie has been struggling with injury and I wouldn’t be trusting her right now at today’s price.
In the 18:30 UK time match I would side with Stefanie Voegele again when she takes on Anna Schmiedlova, who won her first main draw match since the French Open against the equally out of form Annika Beck first up here in Linz.
That win may not amount to much and Voegele should be motivated to back up her good run here last year.
Back Cibulkova –2.5 games to beat Friedsam at 1.75