Thursday is quarter finals day at Yale University at the 2014 Connecticut Open, with four intriguing WTA matches in prospect today.
And I’ll be hoping that one or two of my players can finish off matches today after both of my picks yesterday lost from winning positions.
One was worse than the other, with Andrea Petkovic failing on two straight occasions to serve it out for a 2-0 win over Kirsten Flipkens and going on to lose the set and my wager in a tie break.
The German went on to lose the match in a final set breaker after Shuai Peng was earlier the victim of some shocking line calls that didn’t help her cause against Garbi Muguruza.
Peng, at 2-0 ahead in the deciding set, was out of challenges and had two dire calls go against her, which put her well and truly off kilter and Muguruza to her credit took full advantage.
At least my advice of not rushing to back Caroline Wozniacki at a short price proved on the money when I said that Camila Giorgi ‘has the arsenal at her disposal to punish Wozniacki’.
The Italian did just that in a straight sets win and Caro can head to New York knowing she still has a bit to do before she can be considered a likely major winner.
It’s set to be a cloudy and humid day in New Haven on Thursday, as our eight remaining ladies do battle and first up at 18:00 UK time is Petra Kvitova, who should have too much for Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
The Czech loves it here and does need matches, so I’d expect a fairly comfortable win for Kvitova here over an opponent who perhaps doesn’t after three straight weeks on hard courts.
Sam Stosur played very well last night in crushing Genie Bouchard, whose post-Wimbledon woes continue, but I wouldn’t trust Stosur to turn up and reproduce the same sort of serving form that we saw from the Aussie last night.
She may face a fatigued opponent in Flipkens after that three-hour plus battle with Petkovic and consequently Sam’s price is too short for my interest, given her inconsistencies.
Magdalena Rybarikova vs Alison Riske
I said a couple of days ago that Riske could prove a good outside bet against Flavia Pennetta and so it proved, while Magda had an even bigger scalp in Simona Halep.
Rybarikova is very tricky to bet for or against, as one look at her record will show, and her comfortable win over Riske in Montreal a few weeks ago has seen her be priced up at around the 1.69 mark.
That match in Montreal though was more about Riske being off her game and not taking her chances and she could be a bit of value today at around 2.12.
The American didn’t serve well that day in Canada and she didn’t really do a lot else right either, but she was coming off a loss to world number 176 Hiroko Kuwata the previous match and now that she’s got her confidence back it could be a different story today.
Magda had never beaten anyone ranked higher than eight in the world before that Halep win and it’s far from certain that she’ll come out and back it up with a win over Riske here.
It’s always a gamble with Alison, but at today’s price it’s one worth taking.
The one match remaining is the 22:00 UK time clash between Giorgi and Muguruza and this one could be anything, with two attacking players going at it.
Giorgi has zero middle ground and her game either works or it doesn’t, which makes her a good player to back as a big underdog, but perhaps not so much as a favourite.
Muguruza is a little more patient, but it’s not a match that either player stands out as value in to me, with the overs perhaps the bet as there’ll probably be spells where one or the other plays well, leading to split sets.
Best Bet: Back Riske to beat Rybarikova at 2.12