There are some excellent second round matches in Oeiras tomorrow on the ladies side. As is characteristic of this event in Portugal, most of them have been relegated to the outside courts for the men. Who actually wants to watch Albert Montanes v Marcel Granollers? I’ve seen a few snippets of the action this week, which is airing on British Eurosport, and the crowds look incredibly sparse.
The entry list for the Aegon Classic in Birmingham was released today with Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Sabine Lisicki, Eugenie Bouchard, Sloane Stephens, Lucie Safarova and Sam Stosur all set to play. It’s a good list, but there are suggestions from the person who posts all the lists on the Womens Tennis Forums that the list for Eastbourne is better. This will be released next Tuesday. I’m hoping the full entry lists for Queens and Halle should be out Tuesday night or Wednesday.
1. Eugenie Bouchard v Yaroslava Shvedova (WTA Oeiras, R2)
Eugenie Bouchard kicked off her European clay court season with an impressive victory over Alisa Kleybanova, 6-4 6-1. The match featured an amazing rally where Bouchard slipped, hit a shot whilst sprawled on the baseline and then managed to win the point! You can see the point HERE. Next up for Bouchard is Yaroslava Shvedova, who won her first match of the week against Karin Knapp, 6-2 6-4. Shvedova is a very dangerous player and has had some great results on the clay. Last year, she beat the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Roberta Vinci and Carla Suarez Navarro on the clay and in 2012, she made the quarter-finals of Roland Garros beating the then, defending champion, Li Na. Shvedova is one of the most fragile players mentally, but when she’s on song and serving well, she’s a real threat. I anticipate this to be a close match and like Shvedova’s chances of an upset win.
2. Svetlana Kuznetsova v Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (WTA Oeiras, R2)
Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor won her first WTA title last week in Marrakech and started this week in similarly good form as she defeated Peng Shuai in straight sets. She beat two top 50 players, Bojana Jovanovski and Garbine Muguruza in her best week on the tour. In the second round, she plays Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is higher ranked than anyone she played in Morocco. Kuznetsova herself, looked in really good form last week in Stuttgart. She took out Simona Halep before falling to Ana Ivanovic in a tightly contested quarter-final. In a first career match-up, I believe Kuznetsova will be the fresher of the pair and move into the quarter-finals.
WTA Oeiras 2nd Round Predictions
Carla Suarez Navarro d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in 2 sets
Lucie Safarova d. Polona Hercog in 3 sets
Timea Bacsinszky d. Ons Jabeur in 3 sets
Kaia Kanepi d. Irina-Camelia Begu in 2 tight sets
Elena Vesnina d. Bojana Jovanovski in 2 tight sets
Roberta Vinci d. Yanina Wickmayer in 3 sets
ATP Oeiras 2nd Round Predictions
Daniel Gimeno-Traver d. Rui Machado in 3 sets
Marcel Granollers d. Albert Montanes in 3 sets
ATP Munich 2nd Round Predictions
Denis Istomin d. Marinko Matosevic in 3 sets
Jan-Lennard Struff d. Sergiy Stakhovsky in 2 tight sets
Mikhail Youzhny d. Martin Klizan in 3 sets
Jurgen Melzer d. Ricardas Berankis in 2 tight sets