WTA Tour: Roger's Cup Selected Ro32 Matches Preivew

Tennis player holds racquet

We take a look at selected round of 32 matches from the WTA's Roger's Cup taking place on Wednesday 8 August. 

Alison Van Uytvanck 29/20 | Ashleigh Barty 5/10
Belgian Van Uytvanck has had to work hard to break through over the course of the last few years. She has been a regular on the ITF circuit, winning eight second-tier events on the hardcourts. Promisingly, these include victories in Vegas and Stockton. This year she had a major breakthrough with a WTA Tour title on the hardcourts of Budapest. She also reached the final 32 in Rome and recently enjoyed an excellent Wimbledon. She beat Garbine Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit en route to a final 16 showing. She comfortably got through Zhuk in her opening match here and she will be hoping that the American hardcourts can give her breakthrough season the exclamation point she desires.

Aussie Ashleigh Barty had a tougher opening round encounter with a three-set victory over Begu. Barty has also enjoyed a stellar season that has seen her soar up the World Rankings. She started the year with an encouraging run to the finals in Sydney. She reached the last 32 in Melbourne and had Round of 16 finishes in Miami and Charleston. She reached the semi-finals in Strasbourg before a victory on the grass-courts of Nottingham. So it is clear that she has shown all-court improvement. She perhaps disappointed herself with a Third Round defeat at Wimbledon and the 2014 US Open quarterfinalist will be hoping for some hardcourt magic this year.

This will be the first meeting between these 2 upwardly mobile players. Van Uytvanck is the player with a hardcourt title this year and she is coming off a more successful grass-court season. So I think she may be worth a bet with a price of 6/4. 

Karolina Pliskova 11/20 | Kiki Bertens 13/10
This should be a powerhouse Round of 32 match between two behemoths of the baseline. Czech Pliskova has had a consistent year that hasn’t translated into the Grand Slam success that the former World Number One yearns for. The 2016 US Open runner-up reached the quarters in Australia but failed to make an impression in France or Wimbledon. She reached encouraging quarter-finals in the ‘Sunshine Double’, highlighting her acumen for the hardcourts. It’s perhaps surprising that the clay-court season brought her greatest success thus far. She won in Stuttgart and reached the semi-finals in Madrid. Pliskova is a class act and she is entering the period of the year which has traditionally been her strongest.

Kiki Bertens has had a breakthrough season and can already count 2018 as a major success. The 26 year-old Dutch woman comfortably beat Zhau in the opening round and this is her first event since a brilliant quarter-final performance at Wimbledon. Bertens also reached the final 32 at both the French Open and Aussie Open. She has shown improved consistency in the Slams. She picked up that brilliant victory in Charleston and also had a magnificent run to the final in Madrid. Bertens is extremely powerful from the back of the court and will not be over-awed by the known power of Pliskova.

This will be the fifth time that these two power-hitters will be facing each other. The two currently sit at an even 2-2 record. Funnily enough, they also share the spoils this year 1-1. That memorably includes their last encounter at Wimbledon this year. Bertens overcame Pliskova on that occasion. Pliskova oddly enough beat Bertens on her preferred clay-court surface in Stuttgart. So this is really shaping up to be an extremely tight encounter. Having said of that, Pliskova is a past master on these North American hardcourts. I think that her past experiences and shot making ability should give her the edge, despite that Wimbledon result. A straight sets victory for Pliskova at 13/10 could be worth it. 

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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