Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Sydney, Hobart: Another top 10 scalp for Dominika?

Sydney SF:

Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Li Na
Dominika Cibulkova vs. Angelique Kerber


Monica Niculescu vs. Kirsten Flipkens
Tsvetana Pironkova vs. Mona Barthel
Jarmila Gajdosova vs. Elena Vesnina
Sloane Stephens vs. Lauren Davis

Match focus:

Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Li Na

These 2 players have not lost a match this season yet and someone's going to spoil that record. Li captured the Shenzhen title last week while Radwanska won Auckland. Li struggled mightily against American newcomer, Madison Keys in her quarterfinal and will no doubt feel the effects in this semi-final match. Agnieszka on the other hand, had a relatively straightforward win over Vinci and will be the fresher of the two. What is interesting is that Li has won the last 3 matches they have played and they were all demolition jobs. Will the Chinese demolish the stealthy Pole again? Or will the Chinese be outsmarted by the wily Pole? I believe Li will run out of energy eventually, giving her close shave with defeat today.

Pick: Radwanska in 3 sets

Dominika Cibulkova vs. Angelique Kerber

Cibulkova has already thrashed 2 top 10 players this week and will be aiming for her 3rd. Her confidence must be sky high with her success so far but Kerber is another story. The tough as nails German will be very stingy with her errors and make Cibulkova earn most of her points. Cibulkova needs to read Kerber's tricky lefty serve or else she's toast. The Slovak always had a weakness against strong servers, so Kerber needs to land a high percentage of first serves. This is a tough one to call but I can be sure that these 2 will fight to the bitter end.

Pick: Kerber in 3 sets

Jarmila Gajdosova vs. Elena Vesnina

Is Jarmila Gajdosova back? After an extremely difficult year in 2012, Jarmila seems to be getting back on track with several good wins under her belt. However, she can be a world class player one day but an absolute scrub the next. No one knows which Jarmila will turn out. Vesnina is the steadier of the two and is quietly enjoying her time on court. She also reached the quarter-finals last week in Auckland and will be looking forward to reach another final (and then choke it away). The crowd will definitely be behind Gajdosova, so this will affect Elena to a certain extent. Given how mentally wonky Vesnina is, I believe Jarmila has a good chance of creating another upset here.

Pick: Gajdosova in 2 tight sets

Sure win bets: Sloane Stephens, Angelique Kerber
Upset alert: Elena Vesnina

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