The last eight ladies contesting the BNP Paribas Katowice Open are all chasing semi-final spots in this International level event on Friday.
And I’m hoping for something better than the woeful display that saw Mirjana Lucic-Baroni destruct her racquet and walk to the net to shake hands with Yvonne Meusberger, with the remains of the unreliable implement sitting apologetically near the baseline on Thursday.
Lucic-Baroni was clearly expecting better – as was I – in favourable conditions, but the Croatian served poorly and was wayward off the ground, which is a recipe for disaster against a solid defender like the Austrian.
Play begins at 11.00 UK time on Friday, with what appears to be a competitive match in prospect.
Alizé Cornet 1.68 vs Klara Koukalova 2.12 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 10.50
Cornet was some way short of her best form in a struggle of a win over world number 146 Kristina Kucova and did at one stage have the trainer out for a blister, which may have contributed to her generally poor demeanour in the match.
Speaking of poor body language, that brings me on to Klara, who may have smiled at one point this decade, but reports are unsubstantiated at this time.
Koukie grimaced her way through a tricky match against Annika Beck in the last round and had to come from a set and a break behind to win that one and this one is tough to predict.
This dramatic pair have met across the net twice – each time indoors at the Open GDF Suez in Paris, with one win apiece, but the last such encounter was two years ago now.
Cornet looks a little short at 1.68 here, with the over 21.5 total games appealing more at 1.85 in what looks a likely up and down clash.
Aga Radwanska holds no appeal at 1.04 against Meusberger in the 13.00 UK time encounter, and neither does Camila Giorgi at 1.23 against Shahar Peer, although the 2-0 holds some interest on the Italian at 1.57, but I prefer the final match of the day.
Magdalena Rybarikova 2.08 vs Carla Suarez Navarro 1.72 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 20.05
I said yesterday that Rybarikova 2-0 was a decent option in her last-16 match against Silvia Soler-Espinosa and that proved an easy winner for those on that wager, as the Slovak eased to a 6-2, 6-0 win.
At 20.00 UK time tonight she faces a far tougher Spanish opponent in Suarez Navarro, but I believe that Magda has a good opportunity in these conditions to record her third win in four matches against CSN.
Rybarikova won the most recent meeting between these two, which also took place on indoor hard, and her game seems to suit today’s conditions much better than her opponent.
CSN had a real struggle to overcome the limited Alexandra Cadantu in the previous round and she is still yet to better the semi final stage indoors – a run that could well remain intact tonight.
Carla doesn’t like to be hurried in her stylish shot making and Rybarikova should ensure that she is today and if she continues in the manner that she’s shown so far I see no reason why she can’t take this one.
Back Rybarikova to beat Suarez Navarro at 2.08