Liudmila Samsonova continues to impress here in Limoges and just like on Monday, she didn't just compete well enough to secure the over but also went on to beat Alizé Cornet 6-4 3-6 6-3 and move to the quarterfinals. So while Samsonova is having a day off, the six remaining round two matches are going to be played today.
In the last match scheduled, Jil Teichmann from Switzerland will take on #4 seed Jennifer Brady who we also had a bet on earlier this week. The American impressed (even more than I expected) and rolled past Kaia Kanepi, beating the Estonian 6-2 6-3. For those interested, Kanepi still made the Australian Open main draw after Monica Puig had to withdraw due to an elbow injury.
Hard Times on Hard Courts
Jil Teichmann made the second round in Limoges with a win over Tamara Korpatsch. Being down an early break in the first and second set, she managed to come back in both and win in straights 7-6 6-3. I wouldn't rate that win too highly though as Korpatsch is a player that tries to avoid hard courts at all costs. The German almost exclusively plays clay events as long as weather permits. Apart from US Open qualifying, in which she competed in 2016, 2017 and 2018, she only played two tournaments (an ITF in Belgium in 2015 and another one in Italy a few weeks ago) on outdoor hard courts throughout her whole career.
Easy to say the first round match between Teichmann and Korpatsch was a match between clay court specialists. Prior to that one, the 22-year-old Swiss didn't win a match since mid-August. In seven straight hard court losses, she only managed to win two sets. Kristie Ahn, Elise Mertens, Paula Badosa and Andrea Petkovic (twice) beat her in straights while Teichmann at least won the first set in her defeats against Ellen Perez and Margarita Gasparyan.
Power Player to Prevail
Both Jennifer Brady and Jil Teichmann had a two months break from mid-October till mid-December and seem to be in good shape for the new season already. Brady in particular was looking refreshed in her first round and even though Kanepi didn't put up her best performance, her stats were impressive. The American put up 7 aces while hitting 0 doubles faults, winning 70% points on serve. On top of that, she also managed to save all three of Kanepi's break points.
Teichmann was able to win 63% points on serve against Korpatsch and only allowed two break points. Both of them led to breaks though. Against a Jennifer Brady who really improved her return last year, the Swiss has to be more clutch.
Summarizing, the American has the clear surface advantage. She's winning 62% on hard courts throughout her career and played the majority of her matches on the surface. Teichmann spent most of her time on clay courts and has a losing record on all other surfaces. If both are playing at their standard level, which I expect after watching the first rounds, I don't see Brady in trouble here. The American has too much firepower and I think she'll be able to hold serve more easily.
The handicap is set at 4.5 games which is a little too high for me to take. In their only previous matchup, Brady defeated Teichmann 1-6 6-1 6-2. As you can see from that scoreline, even with these lopsided sets, 4.5 games are tough to cover in a three-set match. Anyway, I do like Brady here and will go for the -1.5 sets handicap which I think is better value than the -4.5 games.