Angelique Kerber v Samantha Stosur
This might look a lot of games on paper for Angelique Kerber to cover, but I think the German is rounding into some strong form and can beat Samantha Stosur for a place in the Quarter Final. Kerber’s experiences in the Grand Slams this season would have given her plenty of confidence to take into the tournament and she is playing the big points very well so far in Rio.
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It was playing the big points effectively that helped Kerber beat Eugenie Bouchard on Monday, especially in the second set when she managed to win four of five games that had been at 30-30 or Deuce. Those moments build further confidence in a player who reached the Semi Final in Montreal ten days ago and Kerber is also pretty comfortable with the match up with Sam Stosur.
As big as the Australian’s first serve can be, Kerber is certainly an effective returner and her movement around the court can eventually see Stosur make errors. More importantly is the match up of the Kerber forehand which naturally goes into the weaker Stosur backhand wing and that can earn the short ball and give Kerber the advantage.
Kerber has won three of the last four matches between the players and all of those wins have come on the hard courts. The German would have covered this number in each of those wins too and I think she will get the better of Stosur who has been inconsistent all season and who might not be able to rely on her first serve getting her out of jail in this one.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Angelique Kerber -4.5 Games @ 1.88 with Pinnacle
Serena Williams v Elina Svitolina
It always looked like being a tough Second Round match for Serena Williams when she faced off against Alize Cornet if only from a mental perspective. The American spent the first set battling with her emotions as well as her opponent, but Serena Williams rolled through the second set and should be a lot freer with her actionson Tuesday.
At least she will have had the time to get ready to face Elina Svitolina who has proven to be a tough competitor but one who is perhaps lacking the consistency to challenge the very best players on the Tour. The Ukrainian has come through two matches where she has needed three sets to see off opponents and now the level of her opponent is raised significantly from what Svitolina has dealt with so far.
The problem I see for Svitolina is that her serve is not the weapon that it should be and she is likely to throw in a really poor set where she struggles to hold. That is not good news when facing someone as good as Serena Williams and I can see the American proving too good for her like she was when they faced off at the French Open in May.
The two previous hard court matches between the players have been competitive, but this match very much depends on the Serena Williams racquet. After coming through the Second Round as effectively as she did, I think Williams will get her nose in front in this one and then run away for a 63, 62 win.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Serena Williams -5.5 Games @ 1.88 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Prices correct at time of writing.