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WTA Internazionali BNL d'Italia Betting: Sharapova in action as top seeds tumble

Sharapova set to begin title defence in Rome...

"Back Azarenka as she bids to make it five straight wins over Goerges without dropping a single set."

There have been plenty of upsets with several top seeds bowing out in Rome thus far, Abelson Info preview Day 3 at the Foro Italico...

As the second round beckons, Russian world number two Maria Sharapova enters the main stage as she looks to seal a third straight title in the Italian capital. 

Having lost to Serena Williams in the final in Madrid on Sunday, she will undoubtedly be keen to put things right ahead of the French Open, and should have few problems when she opens her tournament against Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza.

While that match seems a foregone conclusion, there are a trio of Italians involved on Wednesday but unfortunately for the home crowd, the second round pits two against each other.

After holding off the challenge of Elena Vesnina in three sets, Roberta Vinci will take on wildcard entrant Nastassja Burnett who dispatched of Alize Cornet and dropped just four games in the process.

The Rome-born youngster has never faced her more experienced compatriot previously, and despite impressing in her opening game is likely to face a much tougher time against the world No.15.

Elsewhere, Sara Errani will look to preserve the Roman cheer as she takes on American starlet Christina McHale. The pair have met three times, with the Italian prevailing each time.

However, McHale will take heart from the fact she has gone the distance on the last two occasions, including at the French Open two years ago.

World number three Victoria Azarenka also makes her first appearance in the Eternal City on Wednesday, when she faces Julia Goerges. 

The Belarusian suffered a surprise second-round exit in Madrid, having lost her composure during a heated row with the umpire she went on to crash out at the hands of Ekaterina Makarova.

However, expect no further lapses of concentration and repeat disappointment here as she bids to make it five straight wins over her German opponent without dropping a single set.

Two established players who could find life a little trickier in their bid to advance are Na Li and Jelena Jankovic.

The former faces countrywoman Jie Zheng in her first match of the tournament, and trails her 5-1 in their head-to-head record. 

While that may concern the world No.5's supporters, especially considering her first round exit in Madrid, the last of those defeats came back in 2006 while Li dismantled Zheng in straight sets at Indian Wells last year.

Meanwhile, two-time champion Jankovic breezed through the opening round, but must now face Caroline Wozniacki's conqueror, Bojana Jovanovski in what will be a tricky obstacle to overcome.

In addition, both Maria Kirilenko and Sam Stosur are back in action on Wednesday, but neither will be too anxious considering their dominant form over their second round opponents.

However, there is value to be had in the match-up between Urszula Radwanska and Ayumi Morita. The Japanese ace has won their last three meetings, with the last coming as recently as the Portugal Open at the beginning of the month.

Recommended Bets:

Back Errani-McHale to go three sets @ 3.1511/5

Back Kirilenko to beat Lepchenko 2-0 @ 2.3211/8

Back Stosur to beat Peng 2-0 @ 1.715/7

Back Morita to beat Radwanska @ 1.684/6

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14 May 2013



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