The second round continues in Cincinnati at the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday after another stormy day in this Premier 5 event on Tuesday.
Sara Errani had an epic meltdown yesterday, after one of the worst overrules by a chair umpire you’re ever likely to see and the day got off to a fine start for my bets when Lucie Safarova won her match with Venus Williams twice.
Having ‘won’ it when Venus netted at match point down at 5-2 in the third, a late hawk eye challenge saved Williams, and we had to suffer for another two games before the Czech finally got over the line for real.
Later on Sloane Stephens made it two from two on the day with a nice odds-against success over Andrea Petkovic in straight sets to complete a great day.
Vika Azarenka pulled out with injury, but the only real upset was Annika Beck taking down Garbiñe Muguruza.
There are 13 matches on the schedule for Wednesday in Mason, Ohio, where the weather is set to be warm and humid, but with no chance of rain.
Sabine Lisicki vs Sara Errani
I seem to have been mentioning Lisicki a lot lately, but this is a plum draw for the German, having already beaten one half of the Errani/Vinci partnership yesterday.
I wasn’t convinced about Sabine in that one due to her poor record here in Cincy, but she came through eventually in three, while Errani was melting down against Yanina Wickmayer.
Errani eventually scraped over the line in a final set tie breaker in that one, but she’s here for the taking today in less windy conditions and Lisicki should be able to frank the form of her Montreal win over Errani in similar conditions.
The minus 3.5 games on Lisicki looks good here, with each and every Errani service game an opportunity for the German to show her power and she’ll probably win one set by a wide enough margin to cover the handicap at an appealing 1.92.
READ: Lisicki's Record Serve Highlights Tennis's Technology Boom
Lucie Safarova vs Zarina Diyas
Lucie is in great form right now and I am sticking with her today to cover a 4.5 game handicap against Diyas, who looks like she’s still not 100 percent fit after injury.
Yesterday’s win for Diyas was a real struggle over Irina Camelia Begu and the right elbow injury that she sustained a few weeks ago that saw her withdraw from Montreal doesn’t appear to have healed completely.
Reports from the Begu match suggest she wasn’t hitting her shots as she normally does and an in-form Safarova, whose confidence is at its peak right now should have too much for her, as she did in their only prior career meeting.
Elsewhere, I’m tempted to stay with Stephens too against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, and the other bet I fancy today is to take Sveta Kuznetsova as an underdog against Genie Bouchard.
We had a nice winner last week with Shelby Rogers over Bouchard and the WTA poster girl is feeling the pressure right now.
Kuznetsova is in prime form, while Genie has played only three sets since Wimbledon and lost two of them 6-0.
On pure form Kuznetsova looks very good here at 1.97 and my only concern here is that she’s played a lot of tennis in the last few weeks and had another tough three setter last night.
The Russian tends to struggle with injuries these days and it’s a bit of a gamble on her fitness, but she looks a very lively outsider in the midnight UK time start.
I was also tempted by Kate Makarova as an underdog against Angelique Kerber in the 16:00 UK time start, but their head-to-head is an odd one, with seven of their nine meetings all ending in two sets.
I would have expected a tight match between the pair in a series that Kerber leads 5-4 and the overs was in my mind, but their history has put me off that one.
Back Lisicki –3.5 games to beat Errani at 1.92
Back Safarova –4.5 games to beat Diyas at 1.91