Sunday, 10 February 2013

Qatar Open Day 1: Tennis comes to the middle east

Day 1 Schedule:

Jie Zheng (Chn) V Anastasia Rodionova (Aus)
[10] Caroline Wozniacki (Den) V Mervana Jugic-Salkic (Bih)
Tamira Paszek (Aut) V [13] Ana Ivanovic (Srb)
Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) V Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Usa)
Mona Barthel (Ger) V Yulia Putintseva (Kaz)
Caroline Garcia (Fra) V Fatma Al Nabhani (Oma)
Simona Halep (Rou) V Olga Govortsova (Blr)
Anabel Medina Garrigues (Esp) V Daria Gavrilova (Rus)

Match focus:

Tamira Paszek (Aut) V [13] Ana Ivanovic (Srb) 

Ana Ivanovic suffered a catastrophic loss to Ayumi Morita in Pattaya as the top seed. She claimed to be struggling with an injury. Is that true? Or is it to hide her embarrassment from losing to such a scrub? Good news for Ana is, she meets another player who is slumping hard. Paszek has done nothing out of grass and the Serb should be able to take advantage of this weak opening round. However, if she loses, maybe she should take some time off to really heal that 'injury'.

Pick: Ivanovic in 2 sets

Mona Barthel (Ger) V Yulia Putintseva (Kaz) 

Newly crowned Paris holder will take on fiesty Putintseva in this first round match. Yulia, quite frankly, is a rude brat on court. Her demeanour is a turn-off and I won't expect her to have legions of fans. Mona is on a high after winning Paris and should have enough game to subdue this brat. The German needs to take advantage of the Kazh's weak serve and not let Yulia get into her head.

Pick: Barthel in 2 sets

Anabel Medina Garrigues (Esp) V Daria Gavrilova (Rus)

The aging veteran meets a young promising upstart. Anabel has been on the decline for the past 2 years and Gavrilova is on her way up. The former Wimbledon and US Open junior winner should be ready for her breakthrough. Anabel doesn't have an overpowering game so if the Russian is patient enough, she will have a very good chance of upsetting the Spaniard.

Pick: Gavrilova in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Caroline Wozniacki, Caroline Garcia, Svetlana Kuznetsova
Upset alert: Anabel Medina Garrigues

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