Women’s Madrid Open Second Round
Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor to beat Marion Bartoli @ 10/11
World number 14 Marion Bartoli has achievements on her CV that Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor could only dream of, but that will mean nothing when they meet in this second round.
Bartoli has been struggling to get anywhere near the heights of her run to the final of Wimbledon in 2007 and her emotional last-four finish at Roland Garros in 2011, but now is not the time to back a return to form.
The French darling has not won three consecutive matches all season and is without a title to her name since 2011.
Torro-Flor won’t even be thinking about going all the way this week, but her results en route to qualifying for this match are encouraging. Straight sets wins over the higher ranked Monica Niculescu, Johanna Larsson and most significantly over 2010 French Open winner Francesca Schiavone makes impressive reading and shows a confidence that Bartoli won’t be able to match.
On best form this would unquestionably be a walkover for Bartoli, but everything points to her not being anywhere near that, and Torro-Flora is on a roll.
Varvara Lepchenko to beat Julia Georges @ 4/5
It is understandable that the layers are struggling to separate world number 27 Varvara Lepchenko and world number 28 Julia Georges, but preference still has to be for the higher ranked player.
Lepchenko’s three clay-court events this year have all produced positives for the talented 26-year-old. She won two matches in Charleston before going down in three sets against Venus Williams, then lost out in a decider to Svetlana Kuznetsova in Oeiras before coming to Madrid. Here, Lepchenko couldn’t have been handed a much more challenging opponent in the form of Roberta Vinci who is playing the best tennis of her career. The way the American came through the final set was impressive, winning 6-2, and against someone of the Italian’s class that will have given her huge belief on the surface.
Georges has been struggling with her game ever since reaching the last-16 of the Australian Open, failing to win more than one match at an event in all but one of her tournaments since. The German actually beat Lepchenko in their last meeting, but crucially on their only encounter on clay, the 24-year-old was found out.
This was always destined to be a tight affair and it would be no surprise to see the game last the distance. However, Lepchenko progressed to the quarter-finals in this last year and has adapted quicker to the clay season than her opponent, something that should be translated in the result.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date