Monday, 5 November 2012

Sofia final: Flopniacki appears again

Nadia Petrova def. Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-1

Somebody ought to shut Piotr Wozniacki up. Just when he claimed that Caroline will go back to the old system and she will go back to her winning ways, Caroline suffers a humiliating loss in the final by an aging veteran. All the credit to Petrova for having a late surge at this point of her career. She dominated Caroline from the start with big serves and heavy groundstrokes. Caroline did nothing as usual and tried to draw the errors, which wasn't coming. The Dane needs to see Sharapova as an example, who also had an overbearing father at the earlier stages of her career. However, Maria realised she needed someone with a more professional input and eventually got rid of Yuri Sharapov. Look where Maria is right now and contrast it to Wozniacki. Anyway, Nadia has virtually nothing to defend the beginning of next year and she might very well re-enter the top 10 with a couple of strong results. Well done Nadia!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Sofia finals: Caroline back in top 10

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Nadia Petrova

Caroline Wozniacki makes her way back into the top 10 with this final appearance as she ploughed through Pironkova with no trouble. Caroline will face resurgent Nadia Petrova for her first mini-YEC title. Nadia had a tough match against Roberta Vinci in her semi-final and will no doubt be a little bit affected. Caroline will definitely make Petrova move and expose her lacklustre movement. After attempting to change her game, Wozniacki decided to shut out the naysayers and go back to her original game plan which brought her to the top. Immediately you can see results coming. Does it make for enjoyable tennis? Not really. But as long as the Dane is winning, I don't think she minds. Look out for Wozniacki to waltz to another easy victory.

Pick: Wozniacki in 2 sets

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sofia Day 4: Sofia makes her debut

Sofia Arvidsson vs. Zheng Jie

After the withdrawal of Kirilenko, Sofia Arvidsson steps in to take her place in this last round robin match. Zheng should be happy that she doesn't need to face the Russian but she only has herself to blame for being winless after 2 matches here. Not too sure how prepared Arvidsson would be but Zheng is an expert at losing to players who are not supposed to be there. So I'm going with the Swede for the win.

Pick: Arvidsson in 2 sets

Nadia Petrova vs. Tsvetana Pironkova

Nadia is guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals with the withdrawal of Kirilenko. Will she tank this match and make the home crowd happy? If Zheng wins her match in straight sets and Pironkova goes down in 2, Zheng advances. Pironkova just needs to win 1 set to march into the semi-finals of this event. Hard to see Petrova losing this but I expect a half-hearted effort here from the Russian. She is not young anymore and would be looking to conserve her energy against most probably Roberta Vinci.

Pick: Pironkova in 3 sets

Hsieh Su-Wei vs. Daniela Hantuchova

A meaningless match here so I don't really know how to predict the outcome. These 2 have met earlier this year in Phuket, where Hantuchova won her lone title. I expect the Slovak to be too much for the Chinese to handle but it has been a long season for Daniela. Hsieh would be hungry for a win to show that she belongs there so I expect her to put up a good fight.

Pick: Hsieh in 3 sets

Sofia Day 3: Mental midget Daniela

Hi guys! I'm finally back! Sorry to have missed the first couple of days but I'll be back updating this blog from now onwards.

Caroline Wozniacki def. Daniela Hantuchova 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4

Story of Daniela's life. How many times have we seen Daniela so close to victory but choke badly and make retarded mistakes at crucial points? If Daniela had the mental strength of Wozniacki, She would have been a perennial top 10 player. Wozniacki does what she does best, scrambling and waiting for mistakes as usual. The Dane is just one win away from a return to the top ten and I believe she will take this title easily as the rest of the field is... abysmal.

Roberta Vinci def. Hsieh Su-Wei 6-1 6-2

Despite being the only player with 2 international titles, Hsieh bombed out of the tournament suffering lopsided losses in all her matches. This shows that Hsieh is not yet ready to consistently play with the top guns yet. Vinci did well compared to her dreadful match against Wozniacki and could be a real contender for the title if she cleans up her game. The Italian veteran advances to the semi-finals with this win as both Hantuchova and Hsieh cannot overtake her regardless of their last match.

Nadia Petrova def. Maria Kirilenko 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3

Kirilenko loses a heartbreaker to her doubles partner Nadia Petrova. Kirilenko withdrew from the tournament shortly after this match so I believe she has some health problems during this encounter. Nadia is enjoying a good revival and I believe will break the top 10 with some good results in the beginning of next year. At the grand old age of 30, who would have thought that Nadia would still be going strong? Well done to Petrova for not giving up despite less than stellar results for the past couple of years.

Sweet Caroline

She ended 2010 and 2011 as the number one player in the world. This year has seen her plummet out of the top 10 with 2 first round grandslam exits. Players know how to play her already. Step in and drill the forehand.

Caroline is definitely a top 8 player and she definitely has more power than we might believe. She just needs to have the guts to hit through the ball. When she plays well, it's a marvel to watch.

She ended the WTA season with a victory in Moscow over top 10 player Stosur. This, as well as a strong showing in Sofia should set up a renascences of sorts for her in 2013. It would be nice to have 2 counterpunchers (Radwanksa and Wozniacki) in the top 10 contending with the big guns.

Caroline seems like a lovely girl and is a great ambassador to the game. While she certainly doesn't make a fitting number one, she does make a very reliable and entertaining top 10 player and for the sake of the tour, let's hope she is a contender for big titles in 2013.