Caroline Wozniacki v Monica Niculescu
After the first 15 minutes of the Second Round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova it looked like Caroline Wozniacki was going to struggle to win a game. However, she bounced back spectacularly to win in straight sets and I wonder if that has restored some confidence which would have been lost with a slip in the World Rankings.
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That slip has been down to injuries, and that has seen Wozniacki struggle on the Tour on the hard courts this past summer. However, her two wins this week at the US Open has gotten Wozniacki moving in the right direction and she has a very impressive record against Monica Niculescu.
The Romanian player has lost all six previous matches against Wozniacki and she has lost all twelve sets they have competed. None of those matches has seen Niculescu win more than four games in a single set and this is a match up that should appeal to Wozniacki as it is more about the skill the players possess rather than any of these two overpowering the other.
The Niculescu game can be a little difficult to read at times, but Wozniacki has plenty of past experiences to call upon. Some were wondering if Wozniacki was close to announcing a retirement, but she can keep those questions at bay by winning this one 6-4, 6-3 and moving into the Fourth Round.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Caroline Wozniacki -3.5 Games @ 1.77 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Belinda Bencic v Johanna Konta
There was some controversy as to the manner in which Johanna Konta beat Tsvetana Pironkova in the Second Round and I have to say I can understand where the negative comments are coming from. A medical time out followed by a lengthy toilet break seemed to be excessive and certainly helped Konta make sure she recovered from dropping the second set to win in three.
There should be no lingering effects from the essential ‘panic attack’ that Konta suffered on the court, but I am interested to hear what kind of reaction she gets from the fans. It might be all the tougher knowing she is playing Belinda Bencic who is going to be a popular player, although the new Swiss Miss is not in the best of form after coming back from injury.
Since reaching the Semi Final in Hertogenbosch, Bencic was 1-5 in main Tour matches before winning the last two matches here in Flushing Meadows, The win over Andrea Petkovic was impressive, but this is the most difficult challenge Bencic would have faced so far this week especially in the solid form that Konta has been producing for the last 15 months.
A title win in Stanford following by back to back Quarter Final runs has seen Konta come close to cracking the top ten in the World Rankings. She might be able to do that this week if she can get into the second week and go deep in the draw. The edge will be given to Konta considering form and physical well-being, but I think Bencic is capable of winning a set which will give her every chance of covering this with this number behind her.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Belinda Bencic +3.5 Games @ 2.18 with Unibet
Prices correct at time of writing.