Rogers vs Kovinic
Whilst I was originally more on the Tauson/Tomljanovic train from the bottom half of the draw, you cannot help but be impressed by the tennis Shelby Rogers has produced of late. Her losses since the start of the Australian Open swing has led to losses to Barty (x3, taking a set in 2), Gauff in 3, Mertens, and Svitolina in 3. She was utterly dominant in a match I had pegged as a danger game in round 1 against McNally, and backed up up with a 6-3 6-3 win over Liu.
Danka Kovinic has looked more consistent over the last fortnight in Charleston than I have come to expect over the last couple of years, however this looks to be a sterner test than most she has faced recently. The Kvitova win is the outlier of the fortnight, however the Czech was well and truly far from her best in that one.
I mentioned prior to the first Charleston tournament that this tournament suits players with the mould of a fit Madison Keys, and Rogers appears to be loving the conditions. I am happy to back her in given her strong form on serve, and am happy to take the -4.5 game handicap at plus money for 1 unit.
1 unit Rogers -4.5 games vs Kovinic at $2.06 (+106) at Unibet ($2.07 at Pinnacle)
Tauson vs Osorio Serrano
As fantastic as the run of Osorio Serrano has been in Bogota and Charleston, it looks as though it will be coming to an end today against Clara Tauson.
Tauson clearly didn’t handle the altitude and the Bogota experience last week, however has rectified that with a strong showing to reach the quarter finals. She has knocked off two very talented players in Samsonova and Tomljanovic without dropping a set, and has looked incredibly composed in the process. Whilst Osorio Serrano has battled over the line in back to back third set tiebreaks, I struggle to see her backing it up again in these conditions today against the fresher Tauson.
I will be backing Tauson at the game handicap for 1.5 units.
1 unit Tauson -4.5 games vs Osorio Serrano at $1.83 at Bet365 ($1.89 at Pinnacle)
Sharma vs Fruhvirtova
Whilst the 15 year old Linda Fruhvirtova continues to surprise, I think she may find herself a little outgunned against Australian Astra Sharma today.
Fruhvirtova has now beaten an injured Alize Cornet and Emma Navarro on her way to the quarter final, she comes up against a far more powerful and well-rounded player in Astra Sharma. I must say I held my breath when Sharma nearly threw away a set and *4-1 30/0 lead yesterday, however she took a significant step in the right direction in fighting back and getting the victory over Madison Brengle.
The kick serve of Sharma is going to be a crucial weapon for the Australian, allowing her to keep the ball out of the hitting zones of Fruhvirtova consistently. I will be backing Sharma at the game handicap for 1 unit.
1 unit Sharma -2.5 games vs Fruhvirtova at $1.83 at Bet365 ($1.99 at Pinnacle)