Monday, 7 January 2013

Sydney, Hobart: Caroline to brush off her rust


Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm
Li Na vs. Ayumi Morita
Caroline Wozniacki vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Maria Kirilenko vs. Sara Errani
Galina Voskoboeva vs. Angelique Kerber
Dominika Cibulkova vs. Ekaterina Makarova
Jelena Jankovic vs. Roberta Vinci
Madison Keys vs. Zheng Jie


Klara Zakopalova vs. Timea Babos
Bojana Jovanovski vs. Anabel Medina Garrigues
Elana Vesnina vs. Yaroslava Shvedova
Lauren Davis vs. Sorana Cirstea
Chanelle Scheepers vs. Mona Barthel
Sloane Stephens vs. Simona Halep

Match focus:

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova

Kuznetsova is back? She won 4 matches in a row to qualify for this stage and might just be getting into the rhythm of winning. Caroline on the other hand, won her first round comprehensively; so this should be a good battle. However, Svetlana has not beaten Caroline since 2009 and I don't see it happening tomorrow. Caroline has the game to irritate Svetlana, who will get impatient and try for crazy impossible winners. Also, Sveta must be feeling the effects of playing 4 matches after a long break. As much as I want Kuznetsova to win, Wozniacki will grab this.

Pick: Wozniacki in 2 sets

Jelena Jankovic vs. Roberta Vinci

Jelena Jankovic seemed disinterested last year which resulted in a drastic plummet in rankings. Vinci also managed to notch her first win over the Serbian last year, so she should fancy her chances against her. No idea why Jankovic has suffered so much but when she's in full flow, she's a joy to watch and should take down Vinci easily. With her game now, I just don't see it happening. Besides, Vinci took out Nadia Petrova in 2 tight sets today, so she will be feeling confident about herself.

Pick: Vinci in 3 sets

Sloane Stephens vs. Simona Halep

Sloane Stephen impressed against Serena last week in Brisbane and seemed to be bringing her form over to Hobart. She has already taken out Laura Robson and will be favoured to take out Simona as well. I expect big things from the American this year as she was matching Serena in intensity and hitting as well as her in some points. She should be able to punish Simona's less than stellar serves.

Pick: Stephens in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Klara Zakopalova, Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska
Upset alert: Sorana Cirstea, Dominika Cibulkova, Zheng Jie

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