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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Daria Kasatkina should be backed to retain her Charleston title

Sachia Vickery value in Monterrey

Daria Kasatkina made the final in Indian Wells
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WTA Volvo Car Open
Daria Kasatkina won her first WTA Tour title in the 2017 Volvo Car Open when she defeated future French Open champion in Jelena Ostapenko and the Russian can mount a bold title defence in Charleston.

The 20-year-old was in fine form last month as she reached her biggest final yet in Indian Wells, losing to fellow young gun Naomi Osaka. Both are in the field this week but a switch to the green clay is likely to suit Kasatkina to a greater degree and the form could be reversed if they meet again.

In addition to her Charleston title, Kasatkina has won seven ITF events on clay and a poor 2017 season on the European dirt can be attributed to an ankle problem - she did at least make the third round of the French Open before Simona Halep proved too strong.

Madison Keys, Petra Kvitova, Johanna Konta, Osaka and Miami Open champion Sloane Stephens are all towards the top of the market but none of them are particularly bomb-proof clay performers and Kasatkina can take advantage of a decent route to the quarter-finals.

D Kasatkina
1pt 9-1 bet365

WTA Monterrey Open
Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza is one of just two top-40 ranked players in the field for the WTA Monterrey Open and it's no surprise to see her the clear favourite to take the trophy in Mexico.

But Muguruza is prone to saving her best for the biggest stage. Excluding her clay and grass Grand Slam titles, the Spaniard has won only three times on the tour and just one since the China Open in 2015.

The top half of the draw looks stronger with Lesia Tsurenko, Alja Tomljanovic and impressive Miami Open semi-finalist Danielle Collins in Muguruza's section.

Magdalena Rybarikova is the top seed in the bottom half but the injury-prone Slovakian has obvious vulnerabilities and Sachia Vickery could prove to be better value.

Vickery reached the semi-finals of the Auckland Classic at the beginning of the year and showed glimpses of that form at Indian Wells, beating Muguruza before losing out to Osaka.

S Vickery
1pt each-way 25-1 bet365, Betfred

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Kasatkina has won seven ITF events on clay and a poor 2017 season on the European dirt can be attributed to an ankle problem
E.W. Terms
Sky bet