The inaugural WTA Wuhan Open took a turn for the weird on Tuesday, as a slew of betting favourites failed to make it through to the next round.
Of 14 players who were the bookies favourites only four won their matches, with Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Sara Errani, Kate Makarova, Andrea Petkovic and Simona Halep among the stars to fall.
Williams and Jankovic both retired, the latter of who voided my second wager of the day when she called it quits at 4-1 down to my tip CoCo Vandeweghe.
JJ had a back injury, while Serena fell victim to a viral illness and was taken to hospital as a precaution on a terrible day for favourite backers.
One of those was my pick Jarmila Gajdosova, who twice wasted a break lead in the final set to lose to Kirsten Flipkens in disappointing fashion.
So, the third round is missing a few big names and we start at around 04:00 UK time on Wednesday when it’s set to be hot and humid again, with temperatures reaching 28C at up to 60 percent humidity.
There’s also been a virus flying around, with several players becoming ill, so all told it’s another tricky day in prospect.
Caroline Garcia vs CoCo Vandeweghe
This 04:00 UK time start on Wednesday will be the first meeting between these two big hitters and I’m happy to side with underdog Garcia in this one.
After two very tough final set tie break wins over Venus Williams and Aga Radwanska the French player has had a day off and she should be fit and ready to beat Vandeweghe today.
Garcia has always been highly rated in terms of ability, but she has been a little suspect mentally at times, so it was great to see her battle her way to victory in the tightest of circumstances against two great champions this week.
Vandeweghe relies almost totally on a big serve and power hitting and while Garcia also packs a punch she is the more gifted player in my view.
The American didn’t have to work too hard for her win over a crocked Jankovic, so she should also be fresh for this one, but I don’t agree with the layers making her the favourite here.
Elsewhere, Alizé Cornet should be able to get past Flipkens in the other 04:00 start, while Maria Sharapova will probably cover the handicap against Timea Bacsinszky.
The Swiss has been playing well lately though and with the results yesterday I don’t fancy the long odds-on shots at the moment.
Elina Svitolina certainly has a decent chance against Garbiñe Muguruza as an underdog and it’s a shame that Karolina Pliskova has played so much tennis, as her meet with Petra Kvitova could have been a great match.
It might still be, but the in-form Pliskova has to have a let down at some point and Kvitova played very well in her win over Karin Knapp on Tuesday.
Alison Riske vs Eugenie Bouchard
Instead of Pliskova I prefer Riske as an underdog today against Bouchard and after I mentioned her yesterday as having a decent shot against Errani it was annoying that I decided against that one in the end.
The fast courts here do suit Riske, but I expected Errani to grind her to defeat as she has done so many times to power hitters in recent times.
That didn’t happen and I like the American’s chances of causing a few problems for the Canadian here, with Bouchard having struggled to win her matches since Wimbledon.
Injury has been part of the problem for Genie and only twice in her last nine matches has she won in straight sets.
Either the over 20.5 total games or the +1.5 sets on Riske look like decent choices in this 13:00 UK time start on Wednesday.
Back Garcia to beat Vandeweghe at 2.02
Back over 20.5 total games in Riske/Bouchard at 1.89