Caroline Wozniacki v Katerina Siniakova
It isn’t that long ago since Caroline Wozniacki was rumoured to be thinking about retirement as the World Ranking plummeted. A strong showing at the US Open was unexpected, but Wozniacki has backed that up by winning the title in Tokyo last week and a strong run this week would see her back into the top 20 in the Rankings.
[expand title=”Read More…” swaptitle=”Hide” trigpos=”below” rel=”star-highlander” ]
A solid win over Samantha Stosur in the First Round has kept the positive run going, but this is going to be a test for Wozniacki when she takes on Katerina Siniakova who has won three matches here in Wuhan already. Siniakova also reached the Final in Osaka since the US Open before falling short.
However it has been a memorable season for Siniakova already in 2016 and she has some under-rated power off the ground that might surprise Wozniacki at times. I think the key to this match will be the fact that Wozniacki can get enough balls back in play which will frustrate a young player that perhaps isn’t used to having to hit so close to the lines as often as Wozniacki will force her to.
That will lead to errors and Wozniacki is playing a little more aggressive which should see her get into a position where she can keep the winning run going behind a 64, 63 success.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Caroline Wozniacki -4.5 Games @ 1.83 with Bet365
Johanna Konta v Shuai Zhang
I would love to see Johanna Konta finish in the top 10 of the World Rankings to end 2016, but I am sure the British player has bigger aims and that is playing in the End of Year Championships. Both will only be achieved with some big runs over the next month and this tournament in Wuhan is providing plenty of Ranking points for her to pick up the rest of the week.
Konta hasn’t played a lot of tennis since the US Open and her win over Annika Beck in the First Round is the only competitive match she has had since a surprising loss in the Fourth Round at Flushing Meadows. That is in complete contrast to Shuai Zhang who has reached two Semi Finals in back to back weeks before coming from a set down to beat Shuai Peng on Monday.
If Zhang is serving well, she can be a real threat on the tennis court as the rest of her game seems to pick up confidence from that shot. However she is going to have some issues dealing with Konta who is fairly solid off both wings and has a very good serve of her own which sets up plenty of cheap points.
When they played at the Australian Open, Zhang’s run of wins got the better of her physically, but I do think Konta is the better player. I think Zhang can fall away mentally when things start getting a little challenging on the court while Konta is a much more emotionally secure player these days and I think she moves through 64, 63 in this one.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Johanna Konta -4.5 Games @ 1.91 with 188bet
Garbine Muguruza v Jelena Jankovic
Winning the French Open was a huge achievement for Garbine Muguruza and will always make 2016 a memorable year for her personally. However I am looking at the cold hard results and this looks set to be the fewest number of wins on the Tour for her in a single season since 2013.
Muguruza is just 26-15 on the season and has won at least 35 matches on the Tour in each of the last two seasons. The Spaniard may still reach that mark with some good performances, but she is just 8-6 since winning the French Open as Muguruza has struggled mentally with the tag of being a Grand Slam Champion.
Even with that in mind, I do think Muguruza is going to have too much for Jelena Jankovic who I consider to be on a downward trend in her own career. The recent form shows Jankovic reached the Final in Guangzhou last week and has already won a match here, but she has struggled in 2016 for consistency and this looks set to be the fewest number of wins she has had on the Tour since 2003.
The movement is not as strong as it once was and in turn Jankovic has taken some pretty heavy losses on the Singles Tour this season. Her serve can still be decent on its day, but Muguruza brings the power to the court and the conditions must suit having reached the Final here last year. I am anticipating a similar score to the one these players had when they played in the Fed Cup and that is Muguruza winning 63, 64 to move into the next Round.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Garbine Muguruza -4.5 Games @ 2.18 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Prices correct at time of writing.