WTA HONG KONG
SVITOLINA V GIBBS TO FEATURE A TIEBREAK @ 7-2
Svitolina leads the head to head 2-0 winning both matches in straight sets but interestingly both matches combined featured 3 tiebreaks! What tempers my enthusiasm a little bit is that Svitollna has improved hugely during the last 18 months so may well demolish Gibbs but at 7-2 the odds are enticing and a little more than what they should be.
BRADY TO BEAT ZHANG @ 3-1
Should be quite a close contest here. Hardcourt records 21-13 for Brady compared to Zhang at 23-13. Both looked impressive in their first-round matches and I see no reason why Zhang should be favoured so heavily as the difference between the players does not warrant this price.
LARSSON TO BEAT LEPCHENKO @ 13-10
Larsson leads the head to head 3-2 and on hard courts, it becomes 2-2 with Lepchenko winning the only time they have played on indoor courts. Their respective records suggest a huge gulf in class on this surface with Larsson’s record 99-41 compared to Lepchenko’s 36-37.
VIKHLYANTSEVA TO BEAT CIRSTEA @ 13-10
Never met before but Vikhlyantseva is more accomplished on indoor hard courts with her record of 25 wins to 11 losses compared to erratic Cirstea’s win-loss record of 39-37.
SAKKARI TO BEAT MCHALE @ EVENS
Sakkari leads the head to head 1-0, recent form favour Sakkari who reached the SF last week at Wuhan and is playing full of confidence.
VOEGELE TO BEAT PUTINTSEVA @ 13-10
Head to head is tied 2-2, Voegele has the variation to cause Putintseva problems with her net play as Putintseva tends to stay at the back of the court and this could have the advantage to Voegele to get on the front foot, also Putintseva’s serve is very attackable and I feel she will struggle to hold today. Voegele in good form having reached the SF at Tashkent in her last tournament.