Thursday, 17 January 2013

Australian Open Day 5: Slam winners clash early

Schedule of play:

Angelique Kerber vs. Madison Keys
Li Na vs. Sorana Cirstea
Venus Williams vs. Maria Sharapova
Heather Watson vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
Ana Ivanovic vs. Jelena Jankovic
Ekaterina Makarova vs. Marion Bartoli
Julia Goerges vs. Zheng Jie
Valeria Savinykh vs. Kirsten Flipkens

Match focus:

Venus Williams vs. Maria Sharapova

Multiple slam winners clash in this intriguing 3rd round match as Venus Williams attempts to stop Sharapova's game winning streak. Will Venus suffer the same fate of losing with 2 bagels? Highly unlikely. But Sharapova is the firm favourite to win this match. Venus's last win over Sharapova came in 2009, when Maria justc came back from shoulder surgery. All signs point to a straightforward win for the Russian, but Venus definitely can cause the upset here; if her body allows her to.

Pick: Sharapova in 2 sets

Ana Ivanovic vs. Jelena Jankovic

The Serbian sisters will battle it out for a place in the 4th round. It has been a while since Jankovic knew how to play tennis but Ana's form isn't that fantastic either. I suspect this match will be an error galore. Ana leads the heads to head 7-3 and will be the slightly more confident one. Jelena has the game to beat Ana, it's just whether her mind wants her to or not.

Pick: Ivanovic in 2 tight sets

Ekaterina Makarova vs. Marion Bartoli

Makarova is defending quarter-finalist points here and standing in her way is the ever energetic, Marion Bartoli. Interesting to note is that Makarova has been thrashed by Bartoli in their 2 previous meetings. Will Ekaterina reverse the tide? Marion isn't exactly in good form; will it be enough to take out the Russian? As much as I support the underdog, Marion should win this as she is more mobile around the court. Makarova needs to serve well and try not to get into extended rallies with Marion, as her steadier strokes will outlast the Russian.

Pick: Bartoli in 2 tight sets

Sure win bets: Agnieszka Radwanska, Kirsten Flipkens, Angelique Kerber
Upset alert: Julia Goerges

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