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Pick of the Day: In-Form Wozniacki Seeks Stosur Scalp

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These are happier times for Caroline Wozniacki, who has won 10 of her last 11 matches to arrest a slide that pushed her to the bottom half of the top 100.

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Having battled her way back into the top 25, the former world number one must now kick on and truly re-establish herself as one of the leading lights on the tour.

She has got a tough draw at this week’s Wuhan Open. In fact, everyone has got a tough draw in Wuhan.

Nine of the top ten players in the world are present in the Chinese city, the only absentee being Serena Williams, who pulled out late because of a shoulder problem.

Wozniacki begins her campaign against Australia’s Sam Stosur on Monday.

While Wozniacki is coming off a title-winning run in Tokyo, Stosur is playing her first tournament since a second-round exit at the US Open.

That loss to Shuai Zhang at Flushing Meadows was just a continuation of what had been a disappointing summer for the French Open semi-finalist.

Stosur has lost 3 of her last 4 matches, and has put together back-to-back wins just twice since Roland Garros.

Form clearly says Wozniacki should carry the day, so does the head-to-head record between the players, with the Dane enjoying a narrow 6-5 advantage over her Australian rival.

The former world number one should stretch that advantage by the close of play in Wuhan on Friday.

Following Wozniacki-Stosur in Wuhan is another potentially cracking contest, as US Open finalist, Karolina Pliskova takes on Czech leftie, Lucie Safarova.

Safarova played some magical tennis in getting to the 2015 French Open final, but the unlucky Czech hasn’t quite been the same player since suffering that bacterial infection in the second half of last season.

She however remains one of the most dangerous players on the tour with that leftie serve, and her ability to generate winners from all over the court.

Pliskova will be desperate to return to winning ways following her opening round loss in Tokyo last week, knowing fully well that momentum plays a huge part in this sport.

She’s gained plenty of momentum in the last six weeks, winning Cincinnati and contesting the US Open final, but all that good work will be in danger of falling apart if she suffers another early exit in Wuhan.

Pliskova leads her head-to-head with Safarova 3-2, but unsurprisingly, all the matches have been very close, often decided by the odd big point.

That is what you would expect from two ladies who serve, and return fairly well on their day.

This one could really go either way. Safarova has already played one match in Wuhan, dismissing Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets, and I fancy her to outhit Pliskova and edge another tight encounter.

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