Just the one play for today from the second round of qualifying. Keep an eye out tomorrow as the full main draw preview will be available on Betfair.
Martincova vs Sasnovich (Approx Midnight AEST)
Whilst I have been impressed with some of the recent tennis that Martincova has been able to put together, this presents as a really difficult match-up for her on player style, as well as the conditions on offer in Palermo. Martincova was able to overcome a slow start in round 1, coming from a set down to defeat Kung 4-6 6-2 6-1. She did well to get 67% of her first serves into play, which helped put pressure on her younger opponent through sets 2 and 3.
Whilst she does have a win over Sasnovich from 3 years ago, situationally I think Sasnovich deserves to be favourite in this instance. She has the movement and shot selection to keep Martincova moving, and that will be incredibly important in the conditions today. She is an incredibly smart player, and won’t be fazed by the power coming from the other end of the court.
I generally prefer to support Martincova against similar bigger strikers of the ball, so I am happy to oppose today at the odds. Given it is the first tournament back, I will move with caution, with a 1 unit selection on Sasnovich to take the win. She handled a number of key moments well yesterday (including down triple set point on return), and should be a favourite in this match-up in my opinion. I think it will take an impressive Martincova service performance to win, and at the odds I am happy to take the underdog.