Pablo Carreno Busta ready for more success at Winston-Salem
Ashleigh Barty may be having a party in New Haven
Play starts 3pm Saturday
The ATP Winston-Salem has been won by a Spaniard in the last two years and second-seed Pablo Carreno Busta can benefit from the drop in class and bring up the hat-trick.
Roberto Bautista Agut was triumphant last season, while Carreno Busta delivered the goods at 55-1 in 2016 and he can express his love for the venue with further success in North Carolina.
The world number 13 showcased his well-being with a run to the last eight of the Cincinnati Masters where he recorded straight-set triumphs over Robin Haase and Richard Gasquet before being outclassed by Marin Cilic
But there was little shame in being found out by the classy Croatian and if Carreno Busta can operate at a similar level he should outclass the bottom-half of the draw.
Talented youngster Hyeon Chung would be the biggest danger in his quarter but he has only just returned from injury and it was evident last week that he may need time to rediscover his spark.
David Goffin spearheads the top-half of the draw but inconsistencies continue to hamper the Belgian. At his best he would be tough to beat but he enjoyed a deep run in Cincinnati - claiming the scalps of Juan Martin del Potro and Kevin Anderson - and sustaining that form won't prove easy.
Instead punters should go into Winston-Salem with a two-pronged attack and have an interest on home hope Sam Querrey.
The giant American is a classy operator on his day and he suggested he could be coming to the boil with victory over compatriot John Isner in Cincinnati.
At his best, Querrey - a Wimbledon semi-finalist last season - would make a mockery of this event and his powerful serve should carry him far.
The 30-year-old won't be fazed by his draw - a first-round bye helps his cause - and if everything ticks he should be around at the death.
P Carreno Busta
1pt each-way 12-1 bet365
1pt each-way 14-1 bet365
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WTA New Haven
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Ditching her Grand Slam maiden tag at Roland Garros in June has been the making of Simona Halep, who seems to be going from strength to strength as she chases further success.
Since scooping the French Open two months ago, Halep has claimed silverware in Montreal and was involved in semi-final action against Aryna Sabalenka in Cincinnati on Saturday evening.
The Romanian ace spearheads the field in New Haven but she has had a hectic schedule of late and it’s difficult see how she can sustain these flawless performances.
Therefore, the market leader who will have one eye on the US Open, is worth opposing and Ashleigh Barty is one drawn in her quarter who could capitalise.
The Australian youngster made the semi-finals in Montreal - a much deeper field than she faces here - and followed up that effort with a run to the last-32 in Cincinnati. On each occasion she had her title hopes shattered by Halep but she wasn’t disgraced and could pick up the pieces were the Romanian to withdraw or take things lightly.
Barty should have little to fear from an opening-round match against an out-of-sorts Irina-Camelia Begu and fellow-seeds in her quarter Karolina Pliskova and Julia Goerges are inconsistent and struggling to find their best form.
The bottom half of the draw is difficult to assess with many players failing to fire. Three-time winner Petra Kvitova would be the most convincing but she has found her place in the market and a first-round showdown with 2016 champion Agnieszka Radwanska could be a stumbling block.
1pt each-way 12-1 Coral, Ladbrokes
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