Caroline Garcia v Mirjana Lucic-Baroni
There hasn’t been much sign of either of these players since the US Open so you can’t really point to too much recent form for either. Outside of the US Open performance, there hasn’t been too much for either Caroline Garcia or Mirjana Lucic-Baroni to shout about as they begin their Asian swing on the Tour.
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It is Garcia who has dominated the head to head thanks to an ability to get more out of the first serve than Lucic-Baroni and that might be a difference maker again in this one. It is the Frenchwoman who has won all four previous matches between the players and the majority of those matches has seen her win a significantly higher percentage of first serve points than Lucic-Baroni.
I am still waiting for Garcia to show the consistency that will see her get closer to fulfilling the potential that so many believe she has. When you watch Garcia play you see all of the tools to become a threat to win any tournament she enters, but she can sometimes wander away mentally which sees her opponents get back into matches.
If she does that here, she will be beaten by Lucic-Baroni, but I think the match up works well for Garcia. She should have the edge in power off the ground and also from behind the first serve which should see Garcia edge past Lucic-Baroni in two tough sets as she moves into the Second Round with a 75, 64 win.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Caroline Garcia – 3.5 Games at 1.95 with Eastbridge
Lucie Safarova v Karolina Pliskova
There are a couple of Second Round matches to be played on Monday and one of those is between two compatriots from the Czech Republic. It isn’t that long ago that Lucie Safarova would be coming into a match with Karolina Pliskova as the favourite to win, but that isn’t the case in Wuhan and hasn’t been the case in their last three matches.
However all of those matches have been competitive and it is Safarova who won the most recent one in Prague in the build up to the French Open. The Pliskova run to the Final at the US Open might have boosted her confidence levels, but backing up big performances in Grand Slam events can be hard for those having those experiences for the first time.
Unsurprisingly Pliskova was beaten in her first match since reaching the US Open Final, but she has a big serve and can cause problems when that shot is working alone. The hard courts in Asia tend to be a little slower than the North American ones that these players have been playing on, and I do think the slower court might give Safarova the edge in the match.
She too has a very good serve which can provide cheap points when on her game, but I think the slower courts will also take something away from Pliskova who likes to play a lot of short rallies. I am expecting this match to be very close and this looks like too many games for Safarova to be getting in this one.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Lucie Safarova + 3.5 Games at 1.89 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.