Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Doha Day 3: Woeful days for lower half of top 10

Schedule of play:

Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Anastasia Rodionova
Timea Babos vs. Sara Errani
Nadia Petrova vs. Hsieh Su-Wei
Lucie Safarova vs. Christina McHale
Sloane Stephens vs. Klara Zakopalova
Victoria Azarenka vs. Romina Oprandi
Simona Halep vs. Ana Ivanovic
Roberta Vinci vs. Urszula Radwanska
Ekaterina Bychkova vs. Daniela Hantuchova
Caroline Wozniacki vs. Sorana Cirstea
Petra Kvitova vs. Ekaterina Makarova
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Marion Bartoli
Samantha Stosur vs. Monica Niculescu

Match focus:

Petra Kvitova vs. Ekaterina Makarova

The bottom half of the top 10 is really crumbling as all 5 are struggling with form. Petra Kvitova won her matches in Fed Cup but it was very unconvincing. Gone are the days where she dominated with her serve and hard hitting groundstrokes. Her serve is becoming a liability now and her confidence is gone with it. Makarova suffered a shock loss to inspired Ayumi Morita last week but she did well to clinch the tie for Russia. I expect Makarova to pounce on this golden opportunity to upset the shaky Czech. Kvitova needs someone to tell her that she's gaining too much weight and needs to get back on that treadmill. Until then, she's just going to be a shadow of her former self.

Pick: Makarova in 2 tight sets

Samantha Stosur vs. Monica Niculescu

Samantha Stosur's matches in last week's Fed Cup was pure comedy. Her forehand was misfiring and resulted in ugly shanks. Her weak backhand was hitting the doubles alley and her reliable serve resulted in tons of double faults. Against someone like Niculescu who junks everything, I expect the spectators to get some chances of retrieving Stosur's shanked balls. The Australian's confidence is just shot, even more so than Kvitova's, and has just won 1 match since reaching the Moscow finals. If Stosur continues her losing ways in the clay season, you can expect her to drop fast down the rankings and be the true one slam wonder.

Pick: Niculescu in 2 tight sets

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Marion Bartoli

Marion Bartoli has finally parted ways with her father and might be feeling a bit lost in this tournament. She faces a resurgent Kuznetsova, who is slowly playing herself back to form. I believe Kuznetsova has the game to beat Bartoli but the weak mentality is holding her back. Their heads to heads is tied at 2-all, with Bartoli winning the last 2 meetings. Since the confidence of Kuznetsova is back, the Russian might edge out the win here. In fact, she does everything better than Bartoli, just needs to keep her head in the game.

Pick: Kuznetsova in 2 tight sets

Sure win bets: Agnieszka Radwanska, Nadia Petrova, Daniela Hantuchova
Upset alert: Samantha Stosur, Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli

No comments:

Post a Comment