Thursday is quarter-finals day on week nine of the WTA Tour, with last eight clashes taking place in Florianopolis and Acapulco today, writes Unibet tennis expert Sean Calvert…
It was one winner from two on Wednesday and annoyingly I chose the wrong wager, as my outsider Marina Erakovic eased to a straight sets win at a great price in Acapulco, while Paula Ormachea was well and truly beaten in Brazil.
Christina McHale at least did what I expected her to do in taking down Kimiko Date-Krumm, although it wasn’t as comfortable as the score line suggests.
Play begins at a later time today, with the first match of the day starting at 18.00 UK time in Florianopolis.
Klara Zakopalova 1.30, Alexandra Dulgheru 3.33 - BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 19.05 GMT
Dulgheru is one of two Romanians underdogs today, who have decent chances of causing upsets over their higher ranked opponents.
I’ve been saying all week that Klara is ready for defeat, but the opponents have been mediocre until today, where Dulgheru should have the game to stay in the rallies against the Czech and really test her physical condition.
Zakopalova has now played 12 matches in February and 22 this season, while for the sake of comparison Dulgheru has played 14 in total in 2014 and six in February.
The pair met twice in 2011, with one win apiece, and those matches turned out as one would expect, with Dulgheru winning a grind on clay and Zakopolova coming out on top on fast hard.
This slow, hard court surface should give the Romanian a chance to stay solid, grind it out and make the Czech really work for her win – something which her body will probably be loath to do.
The 1.78 on Dulgheru with a 4.5 game start looks too good to miss here.
Elsewhere, Van Uytvanck was superb yesterday, producing a great display of power hitting to take apart Ormaechea, who admittedly lost it mentally very early on in that match, and it should be a very watchable clash of the big hitters today when she faces Garbine Muguruza. The Belgian +4.5 games is interesting in that one.
The matches in Brazil seem to hold more value than those in Acapulco and the second of the Romanian betting underdogs features in the final match of the day in the Brasil Tennis Cup.
Carla Suarez Navarro 1.57, Monica Niculescu 2.33 - BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 21.35 GMT
The second career meeting between the in-form Spaniard and the awkward Niculescu is a tricky one to call, but at the prices I have to side with the defending champion, who loves conditions here.
Niculescu’s slice forehand and unusual style has done for many players over the years and although CSN won their only previous meeting indoors in Paris a year ago the much slower conditions here will favour Monica much more.
Suarez Navarro was helped a tad by a rain delay in a tough win over Kiki Bertens last night, but this will be a totally different kind of opponent to the big-hitting Dutch player and CSN will be made to generate a lot of her own pace and play a lot of balls. I like the 2.33 about Niculescu in this one.
Back Dulgheru +4.5 games to beat Zakopolova at 1.78
Back Niculescu to beat Suarez Navarro at 2.33