Sloane Stephens v Naomi Osaka
Osaka might be the favourite but has hardly tickled a hard court since the Aussie swing, where she started well enough before bailing out of the Melbourne Summer Set semi-final with an injury before hand. She reached the third round of the Australian Open.
Stephens found herself newly wed and then bounced out of the Australian Open by a blister-affected Emma Raducanu, but won the Guadalajara title. Osaka (4/9) remains the favourite despite having slipped down the rankings, but could well find herself taken the distance by a resurgent Stephens.
Daria Saville v Zhang Shuai
The feisty Saville has been fairly steady this year and bounced out Britain’s Emma Raducanu in Guadalajara on her way to the quarter-final so is rounding nicely into form, but she is up against the Lyon champion Zhang Shuai. Zhang had to also beat the rising tidal wave of emotion for Dayana Yastremska in a difficult week for all Ukrainian athletes.
Expect this to be a win for the Zhang (4/5) but can see this being dragged out the distance.
Nick Kyrgios v Sebastian Baez
Kyrgios is a walking pot of vegemite. You either love him or hate him. But there is no denying he gets people talking. is he good for the game? Not sure – have to confess I get a little bored of his antics. But will he draw the crowds in Tennis Paradise in amongst the palm trees? Oh you betcha!
He loves the crowds – Kyrgios (4/7) is how we round off the acca.