Monday, 11 February 2013

Doha day 2: Is Kerber fully healed?

Schedule of play:

Andrea Hlavackova vs. Nadia Petrova
Francesca Schiavone vs. Marion Bartoli
Carolina Garcia vs. Maria Sharapova
Daria Gavrilova vs. Serena Williams
Mona Barthel vs. Angelique Kerber
Eleni Daniilidou vs. Lucie Safarova
Roberta Vinci vs. Yanina Wickmayer
Laura Robson vs. Daniela Hantuchova
Maria Kirilenko vs. Ekaterina Bychkova
Sorana Cirstea vs. Ons Jabeur
Monica Niculescu vs. Jelena Jankovic
Heidi El Tabakh vs. Timea Babos
Christina Mchale vs. Vera Dushevina
Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Ekaterina Makarova
Sloane Stephens vs. Anna Tatishvili
Urzsula Radwanska vs. Nadiya Kichenok
Klara Zakopalova vs. Varvara Lepchenko
Tadeja Majeric vs. Su-Wei Hsieh
Tsvetana Pironkova vs. Romina Oprandi

Match focus:

Mona Barthel vs. Angelique Kerber

Red-hot Mona Barthel meets the top German who is under an injury cloud. Angelique Kerber claims to be suffering from a back injury and makes her first appearance since that announcement. Is Kerber fully healed or is that just an excuse to skip Fed Cup? Nevertheless, it should be a good fight between these 2 compatriots as Barthel is on a high after winning Paris and Kerber will be keen to show who's the top German. I think the lack of match play might affect Angelique and back injuries do not heal over a few weeks. A retirement is very possible.

Pick: Barthel in 2 sets

Andrea Hlavackova vs. Nadia Petrova

Somebody's gotta win this match in this clash of the winless. Hlavackova and Petrova are both winless this season and their next round opponent must be awaiting them with glee. With both having more success on the doubles tour, you have to wonder if it's time to concentrate on that. Petrova form went on a free fall after winning Tokyo and Sofia and missed out her chance on getting back into the top 10. She will be the favourite here, being the higher ranked player. Andrea needs to keep Nadia moving and hold her own serve. Once Nadia is rattled, you pretty much have the match. However, Andrea was never a mental giant to begin with, so the edge goes to Petrova.

Pick: Petrova in 2 sets

Tadeja Majeric vs. Su-Wei Hsieh 

What is Hsieh Su-Wei doing here in Doha? She is injured and should just rest until she is fully fit. This crazy Taiwanese is just baffling with her schedule. If she continues like this, she will be a walking bye in all the tournaments she partakes and not to mention, incur permanent injuries that could end her career. It doesn't matter who her opponent is anymore, anyone standing across the net should be able to win against Hsieh. I have never seen Majeric play and she's obviously not the fittest girl, but I still expect her to win. Get some rest, Hsieh.

Pick: Majeric in 2 sets

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