There will be wins for Karin Knapp and Kirsten Flipkens in Paris today, writes Unibet columnist Sean Calvert...
There’s more second round action on the schedule in Paris on Thursday, as the Open GDF Suez continues at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
My best bets went one from two on Wednesday, thanks to a gritty three-set win for Nastia Pavlyuchenkova over Carla Suarez Navarro on the handicap, but incredibly Stefanie Voegele gave up a set and 4-2 lead to lose in a final set breaker to Galina Voskoboeva.
Elsewhere on Wednesday there was a simple win for Maria Sharapova over Dani Hantuchova, who managed just the one game on her side of the scoreboard, while the jet-lagged Kiki Mladenovic shook that off and produced a fine performance to take down Simona Halep in straight sets.
Over in Pattaya City they have just the three matches on their card on Thursday, but they start too early for my interest and the five matches in Paris offer more scope for betting.
Yvonne Meusberger 2.40, Kirsten Flipkens 1.55 (BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 12.05)
This 12pm approx. UK time encounter features two of the steadier players on the WTA Tour and we shouldn’t be seeing too many balls thudding into the backboard in this one.
Meusberger likes to win her matches by drawing errors from the opposition and making plenty of balls, while Flipkens likes to use variety in the form of lobs and slices to gain a foothold in matches and also draws the sting from some of the bigger hitters on the tour.
The Belgian showed that yet again in her match against Mona Barthel in which I said yesterday that Flipper was a touch of value in at a shade of odds-against.
Flipkens simply made enough balls for the erratic Barthel to rack up the unforced errors and she emerged a three-set winner in the end, while Meusberger performed a similar feat over young German Anna-Lena Friedsam in her opening match here this week.
The Austrian and the Belgian will be meeting on the tour for the first time, but I have to favour Flipkens here in what could be a very tactical affair and the 1.55 on Flipper looks good to me.
Karin Knapp 2.04, Sara Errani 1.75 (BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 14.05 GMT)
The decorated Italian pair of Errani and Roberta Vinci, despite enjoying success on the doubles court, are struggling badly this season and have been hit off the court several times in 2014 already. Today Errani takes on another Italian player in Knapp.
Vinci was beaten by Elina Svitolina here on Wednesday and hasn’t won a match yet this season in singles, while Errani was blown away by Julia Goerges and Tsvetana Pironkova in her most recent matches this campaign and she could be vulnerable again in these indoor conditions.
Knapp can give the ball a real belt and although her three career wins over Errani are too long ago to be relevant in this match today it will at least suggest that Knapp, who hails from the mainly German-speaking South Tyrol region of Northern Italy, won’t be giving Errani too much respect in this clash.
The lower ranked of the two Italians gave Sharapova a match to remember in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago and Knapp’s aggressive approach served her well again in the first round here against Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that this match is on Knapp’s racquet and if she finds her range she can certainly continue Errani’s poor start to the season. I’ll be taking the 2.04 about Knapp here.
In the early 10am start Svitolina seems generously priced as underdog in her match with Voskoboeva, while Andrea Petkovic looks a touch short at 1.48 against Mladenovic. If the French player finds the same form that she showed in taking down Halep it could be a tough afternoon for the German, but will that jet-lag kick in today?
Petra Kvitova makes her first appearance at this year’s Open GDF Suez at 8pm UK time tonight and the Czech, who was a shock loser in the first round of the Australian Open will find conditions more to her liking tonight.
Kvitova is a tricky betting proposition due to her wild fluctuations in level and tonight she takes on the emotional wreck that is home hope Alize Cornet.
The pair played a month ago in Hopman Cup, with Kvitova a tight three set winner that day and my nerves couldn’t stand backing her at 1.20 here. The over 19.5 games looks a bet at 1.60 here or possibly Cornet +1.5 sets at 2.20.
Back Flipkens to beat Meusberger at 1.55
Back Knapp to beat Errani at 2.04