The WTA Tour heads due north in week 14 from Miami, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina for the Family Circle Cup.
This Premier event is played at the Family Circle Tennis Centre on green Har-Tru clay, which is considerably quicker than the red clay seen at many other events worldwide.
You won’t see much sliding on these courts this week and the conditions are more akin to hard courts than clay and consequently players that do well here tend to be the more powerful, bigger hitters. With a swirling wind also to take into account it's useful to side with those who have achieved success here in the past.
Miami winner Serena Williams is the defending champion this week and she’ll be looking for her fourth title here, while the first round in 2013 resulted in 15 winning favourites from 24 matches.
There are 15 matches on the schedule for Monday in Charleston, with play starting at around 15.00 UK time.
Stefanie Voegele 2.12 vs Ajla Tomljanovic 1.68
The Swiss is having a tough time of it at the moment and has won just one of her last eight matches in all competitions, but at a venue she did very well at last year this looks a fine opportunity for her to arrest that slide.
Voegele defeated Carla Suarez-Navarro, Julia Goerges and Caroline Wozniacki here 12 months ago on her way to a semi-final loss in three sets to runner-up Jelena Jankovic and she made the last-16 as a qualifier in 2012.
In total, Voegele has an 8-2 record here, with losses coming only to Jankovic and Vera Zvonareva, so it’s well worth taking a chance on her as underdog today against the distinctly average Tomljanovic.
Indeed, when this pair met on hard in Stanford last year the Swiss was an easy winner of a match that the layers couldn’t decide on a favourite in, but at 2.12 today it’s worth siding with Voegele to bounce back in conditions she enjoys.
It’s Tomljanovic’s first time at this tournament, so she’ll be very new to the playing conditions here in Charleston and her decent week in Miami last week, which was down to a huge choke from Garbine Muguruza, seems to have resulted in the Croatian being too short here.
Of the other outsiders today, I am tempted the most by Melanie Oudin at 2.70 against Jana Cepelova and Kiki Bertens against Paula Ormaechea.
Oudin is on the way back from rhabdomyolysis and she was competitive a few days ago on the clay of Osprey, where she lost in a final set tie-break to Petra Cetkovska, but the quicker green clay suits her better and she has a good record here in Charleston. The concern with Melanie is her match fitness at the moment.
Bertens has enjoyed a couple of decent wins in qualifying and she has a decent chance of avenging her red clay loss to Paula Ormaechea today on a faster surface. Ormaechea may also find conditions to her liking though and that looks a likely one for the overs.
Alison Riske has never won a match here and is 0-5 lifetime in Charleston and hasn’t looked in the best of health and fitness of late. Chanelle Scheepers looks a decent favourite in that one.
Julia Goerges can’t be trusted at prices like 1.53 these days, while Madison Keys and Elina Svitolina look the most reliable of the short-priced favourites today.
Back Voegele to beat Tomljanovic at 2.12