1. Alizé Cornet v Kirsten Flipkens (Istanbul, R2)
The last time that Alizé Cornet and Kirsten Flipkens played each other they put on a show… or should I say, Alizé put on a show. In a match that featured a 6-0 set, Cornet still needed three hours and 11 minutes to get the win earlier this year in Dubai, 6-0 6-7(8) 6-3. Cornet was a little peeved at some line calls that went against her, but she had already used up all her challenges. Cornet won her first match of the week in Istanbul against Yanina Wickmayer, 6-3 7-5. The Frenchwoman failed to serve out the match at *5-4 in the second set, but made no mistake second time around.
Flipkens enjoyed her most comprehensive win of the year, defeating the 18-year-old, Jelena Ostapenko, 6-2 6-0. Flipkens lost just five points in the second set and didn’t drop a point on her serve. Flipkens has had a pretty miserable year up till now and this is just her fifth tournament of the year where she has claimed a main draw win. Cornet will be going for her fifth consecutive win over Flipkens and while it’s likely she’ll make a mountain out of a molehill, i’d take Cornet to reach the quarters.
Prediction: Cornet d. Flipkens in 3 sets
2. Francesca Schiavone v Camila Giorgi (Istanbul, R2)
An all-Italian clash between Francesca Schiavone and Camila Giorgi should be a fun one for Thursday’s order of play. Giorgi committed 22 double faults but still found a way to win her first round match, overcoming Dominika Cibulkova, 7-5 5-7 7-6(6) in two hours and 53 minutes. The match featured 16 breaks of serve and many, many, MANY changes in momentum. While it’s easy to criticise Giorgi for her continuously high volume of double faults, I find it quite amazing she manages to win matches like these! It was a good win in a tight situation against a gutsy opponent.
Wins for Schiavone have been few and far between this year; before Istanbul, Schiavone had failed to win a match at 11 of her 16 tournaments in 2015. Like Flipkens, Schiavone enjoyed her most dominant win of the year in the first round of Istanbul with a 6-0 6-1 thumping of Sesil Karatantcheva. Considering Schiavone won the second set, 6-1, she only won 10 more points that Karatantcheva in the set (34 to 24). Schiavone and Giorgi have played each other just once before with Giorgi prevailing, 6-1 6-3. Unless Giorgi has a really bad day at the office, I don’t see an upset in this match. I’ve been surprised a lot this week though…
Prediction: Giorgi d. Schiavone in 2 sets