Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Australian Open Day 4: Injured Serena?

Day 4 schedule:

Match focus:

Serena Williams vs. Garbine Muguruza

Serena Williams twisted her ankle in her first round but still served up a double bagel to her opponent. This must say a lot about Edina Gallovits' standard of play. Will Serena be affected by her injury? Or is it a minor one which can be salvaged by taping? We'll see. Serena faces Garbine Muguruza, who upset several seeds last year in Miami. This Spaniard disappeared shortly after that, having below average results. Serena might not be able to serve the double bagel, but she is sure to cruise through this match, even with one foot.

Pick: Williams in 2 easy sets

Laura Robson vs. Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova faces a mirror image of her in this second round match, a lefty with limited mobility but hits everything with pure power. Will the former Wimbledon champion be upset? Both are in middling form but Laura has nothing to lose. She will swing freely and look to be the one to take the initiative. Petra is troubled by her low confidence, so I don't expect an easy victory for her. I predict Robson to sneak away with this one, but the match won't be easy or pretty.

Pick: Robson in 3 tight sets

Hsieh Su-Wei vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova

With Errani out, this quarter is wide open and I believe the winner of this match will make it to the quarters. Kuznetsova seems to be hitting her stride as she took out Dominguez-Lino easily (who doesn't?). She needs to be careful with Hsieh as the Taiwanese will not give Svetlana a nice rhythm to play with. Hsieh's crazy game will drive players crazy if they are not prepared for it. I believe Kuznetsova has the experience to win this to emerge from this quarter.

Pick: Kuznetsova in 2 tight sets

Kimiko Date-Krumm vs. Shahar Peer

Kimiko Date-Krumm set a new record by becoming the oldest woman to win a match in the main draw. Will she be the oldest woman to make it to the 3rd round? Very likely as her opponent is the slumping Shahar Peer. How Peer won her first round I will never know. Shahar got the luck of drawing one of the weakest players in the top 100, Alexandra Panova. Her luck runs out now as Kimiko looks to be in form after taking out Nadia Petrova. If Shahar Peer somehow wins this match, we will have to bear with another year of seeing Peer bomb out in the first round of almost every event. So Kimiko, do us a favour...

Pick: Date-Krumm in 2 sets

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Donna Vekic

Wozniacki barely escaped her first round encounter. She will sure have an easier time with a less experience opponent. No? Well, Donna Vekic is a rising starlet to take note of. Playing in her first main draw event, she reached the finals of Tashkent (lowly, but still a tour event) and has already accounted for Andrea Hlavackova here. Vekic needs to do what Sabine tried to do, go aggressive but not all the time. Attack at the right moments and not get into extended exchanges at the baseline. Inexperience may be Vekic's undoing, but she has nothing to lose. I expect the youngster to put up a good fight, but eventually Wozniacki will prevail.

Pick: Wozniacki in 2 tight sets

Sure win bets: Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Roberta Vinci
Upset alert: Hsieh Su-Wei, Petra Kvitova, Varvara Lepchenko, Jamie Hampton

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