Monday, 28 January 2013

Pattaya & Paris Day 2: Thai express

Pattaya schedule:

Akgul Ammanmuradova vs. Maria Kirilenko
Luksika Khumkum vs. Casey Dellacqua
Ana Ivanovic vs. Ayumi Morita
Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. Sorana Cirstea
Tatjana Malek vs. Sabine Lisicki
Chanelle Scheepers vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm
Elena Vesnina vs. Eleni Daniilidou
Anastisija Sevastova vs. Misaki Doi
Vania King vs. Anastasia Rodionova
Heather Watson vs. Timea Babos
Nina Bratchikova vs. Shahar Peer

Paris schedule:

Not released yet

Match focus:

Luksika Kumkhum vs. Casey Dellacqua

Local favourite, Luksika Kumkhum just had her breakthrough tournament in Australian Open and will be looking forward to carrying her momentum here in Pattaya. She faces a tricky player in Casey Dellaqua, who reached the doubles final in Melbourne. Casey should be commended for her fight to get back to the top 100, but I feel that she isn't back to her past level where she reached the top 30. Kumkhum on the other hand, has nothing to lose and hits with pure abandonment. Playing in front of her home crowd will also boost her confidence. I expect the Thai to win this and take over the Tanasugarn as the top Thai player.

Pick: Kumkhum in 2 sets

Heather Watson vs. Timea Babos

Timea Babos is just not winning anything now. This is a far cry from last year, where she reached her first WTA semifinal and clinched her first title in Monterry (defeating current top 10 Sara Errani). Her string of losses stretch all the way back to New Haven, where she lost in the first round to Petkovic. Looks like she's going to extend her losing streak as she meets a player who reached the 3rd round in Melbourne. Maybe Babos needs to take a break, or see a sports psychologist, because her game is explosive and has the potential to be a good player.

Pick: Watson in 2 sets

Yanina Wickmayer vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

The schedule of play for Paris day 2 isn't released yet, so I'm going to pick random matches to analyse. Pavlyuchenkova was supposed to have a good performance in Melbourne but flopped badly. She will be keen to bounce back but she faces the ever reliable Yanina Wickmayer. Yanina hasn't beaten a player ranked in front of her for eons but will always account for opponents lesser than her. Will Wickmayer take out Anastasia? Or will the fluctuating Pavlyuchenkova show us what she's capable of? I believe Anastasia is very sore about losing early in Australian and will be working doubly hard to improve on her game. The Russian might face difficulty, but she will come out on top.

Pick: Pavlyuchenkova in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Maria Kirilenko, Sabine Lisicki, Heather Watson
Upset alert: Casey Dellacqua, Sorana Cirstea, Misaki Doi

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