Caroline Garcia v Kirsten Flipkens
Caroline Garcia has two wins over Kirsten Flipkens in the 2016 season already and I am backing the French woman to make it three in a row on Wednesday. Both players had impressive First Round wins, although Flipkens should have more of a feel for the conditions having played in the qualifiers, before being the recipient of a ‘Lucky Loser’ spot in the main draw.
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She took advantage by beating Belinda Bencic in the First Round, but the matches with Garcia have not been a good match up for Flipkens so far. The first serve is not a big shot for Flipkens and she doesn’t get as many cheap points off that as Garcia does, which can build pressure over the course of a match.
Some of the Garcia results on the hard courts have been very disappointing when you think of the talent she has and the power she does possess. Garcia is just 1-3 on the hard courts this summer prior to the tournament here in New Haven and I do wonder whether she finds the right rhythm when playing on the faster surfaces, although she did reach the Semi Final in Dubai which is one of the faster hard courts on the Tour.
The bigger concern for Garcia is that many of her losses on the hard courts have come as the favourite, but she is facing an opponent who has failed to cover this number in all her defeats on the hard courts this season. Her win over Venus Williams at the Olympic Games might be a little overrated considering how Venus has been playing and I think Garcia wins this one 7-5, 6-4.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Caroline Garcia – 3.5 Games @ 1.80 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Petra Kvitova v Eugenie Bouchard
It has been two seasons since Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard have met on the Tour, but the past meetings have shown Kvitova’s power to be a huge difference maker.
This has not been a great season for Kvitova in terms of consistency, but she is the two time defending Champion in New Haven and has reached the Final here four times in a row, while winning three times. The conditions are clearly something she enjoys, although Kvitova had to overcome a scare in the First Round before seeing off Louise Chirico.
Eugenie Bouchard is having a far better season than 2015, but she is still not quite up to the consistency you need to start moving up the World Rankings. On too many occasions Bouchard has looked like she has lost all belief within a match, when things have not gone the way she anticipated and I think mentally she will be under pressure knowing Kvitova has blown her off the court in their previous matches.
While Bouchard has played well at times, when she goes behind she struggles to fight back in matches and I think Kvitova is going to prove too strong. She clearly loves playing here and I will back Kvitova to come through with a 6-4, 6-4 win.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Petra Kvitova – 3.5 Games @ 1.83 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.