Not immediately the most interesting match, but it certainly has the potential to be one of the best matches of the day.
Monica Puig has stormed onto the scene this year. She reached the third round of the French Open and the fourth round of Wimbledon and will be hoping to start progressing into the later rounds of some of the smaller tournaments. She has been working with Gil Reyes and Steffi Graf in Las Vegas since Wimbledon and will be in excellent condition coming into this tournament.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands has come back well in 2013 after a poor 2012 when she dropped outside the top 200 in the world. She is back on the verge of the top 50 and reached the final in Kuala Lumpur on hard courts earlier this year. On her day, she is a quality player as she showed in beating Li Na at the French Open, and if she plays like that, she has a chance to have a decent run here.
Mattek-Sands leads the H2H 2-1 after wins in Miami this year and Ponte Vedra Beach back in 2010. However, Puig beat the American in Brisbane earlier this year. The previous meetings suggest that this should be very tight, but that it should come down to whichever player can hit more first serves.
This should be a tight match and it would be no surprise should it go three sets as two of their previous three meetings have. Puig will have taken plenty of confidence from her run at Wimbledon and she will be looking to really push on in the American hard court swing. She has virtually no points to defend and she can really continue to move up the rankings if she plays well. I fancy her to just sneak the win here.
The Rest of the Matches
Paula Ormachea, Andrea Petkovic and Sloane Stephens should all be easy winners against Beatrice Capra, Jessica Pegula and Olga Puchkova respectively, but the other three matches should all be highly competitive. American Christina McHale will be hoping to find some form back in her home country after struggling this year as she takes on the tricky Magdalena Rybarikova, while fellow American, Melanie Oudin, faces the often obnoxious Australian, Anastasia Rodionova. The other match sees Kiki Bertens face Jana Cepelova in a match that the Dutch woman should win, assuming her ankle is back to 100%.
Sam Stosur will be hoping for a better performance this week as she looks for some form ahead of the US Open. However, Varvara Lepchenko should provide a tough test for her, but I fancy the Australian to come through in the end. Two Italian veterans face each other as Pennetta faces Schiavone and I fancy Flavia to come through in three sets. Kuznetsova and Jankovic should both progress against Razzano and Burdette, although both tend to make this type of match far more difficult than it should.