Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Indian Wells day 1: All Italian clash

Schedule of play:

Silvia Soler-Espinosa vs. Vania King
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Andrea Hlavackova
Flavia Pennetta vs. Francesca Schiavone
Tsvetana Pironkova vs. Christina McHale
Jill Craybas vs. Mallory Burdette
Olga Puchkova vs. Maria Sanchez
Simona Halep vs. Lauren Davis
Grace Min vs. Lourdes Dominguez Lino
Kristina Mladenovic vs. Chanelle Scheepers
Marina Erakovic vs. Shahar Peer
Zheng Jie vs. Ksenia Pervak
Anabel Medina Garrigues vs. Casey Dellacqua
Mandy Minella vs. Olga Govortsova
Ayumi Morita vs. Lesia Tsurenko
Timea Babos vs. Johanna Larsson
Lara Arruaberrena-Vecino vs. Sesil Karatantcheva

Match focus:

Flavia Pennetta vs. Francesca Schiavone

The 2 pioneers of Italian tennis clash in this intriguing first round match. Both are not in form, with Schiavone struggling to win any sort of match; and Pennetta fresh from an injury timeout. These 2 have met 6 times and also met here back in 2008. Schiavone won that encounter but Flavia has won their last 2 matches. Needless to say, these 2 players know each others' games inside out. There will be countless long rallies and I hope to see an entertaining match. I am partial towards Pennetta but I'm not sure if she's mentally back yet. Francesca is a fighter even when she's not at her best. It could go either way but I'm picking Pennetta.

Pick: Pennetta in 3 sets

Zheng Jie vs. Ksenia Pervak

Pervak makes her comeback from injury after a disappointing Melbourne. She faces a slumping Zheng, who has been struggling to win even games in her matches. The unknown will be how much Ksenia has recovered, not so much of Zheng's ability. If Pervak gets to even 50% of her Sydney form, Zheng is toast. That said, Zheng might be able to turn it up any day; so this match is pretty much up in the air.

Pick: Pervak in 3 sets

Jill Craybas vs. Mallory Burdette

The oldest American active player goes against one of the youngest prospects of USA. You don't have to be a genius to know who will most probably win. However, one has to salute Jill Craybas for her longevity and her never-give-up attitude. Despite not posting any result of late, she continues to play tennis because of her love of the game. Let's hope Burdette gives her the respect and gifts her a few games.

Pick: Burdette in 2 easy sets

Sure win bets: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kristina Mladenovic, Marina Erakovic
Upset alert: Zheng Jie, Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Francesca Schiavone

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