Thursday, 7 March 2013

Indian Wells day 2: Battle of the Americans

Round 1:

Lucie Hradecka vs. Taylor Townsend
Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. Jamie Hampton
Madison Keys vs. Melanie Oudin
Laura Robson vs. Sofia Arvidsson
Stephanie Foretz Garcon vs. Daniela Hantuchova
Irina-Camelia Begu vs. Heather Watson
Bojana Jovanovski vs. Garbine Muguruza
Kimiko Date-Krumm vs. Galina Voskoboeva
Mirjana Lucic vs. Pauline Parmentier
Petra Martic vs. Stefanie Voegele
Elina Svitolina vs. Monica Niculescu
Annika Beck vs. Kiki Bertens
Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Romina Oprandi
Monica Puig vs. Alize Cornet

Match focus:

Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. Jamie Hampton

All American clashes here with Bethanie Mattek-Sands facing Jamie Hampton, and another one featuring Madison Keys vs. Melanie Oudin. Going by the pattern, an early exit is imminent for Bethanie; who made the finals halfway around the world in KL. However, Jamie has been out with a back injury since her heroic efforts in Melbourne. Will she be match-fit immediately and will it be enough to take out the newly confident Mattek-Sands? I hope Jamie is fully recovered as she displayed her full potential despite being heavily injured against Azarenka. Who knows what might happen if Jamie was fully fit.

Pick: Hampton in 2 sets

Madison Keys vs. Melanie Oudin

Madison Keys is another bright upstart who had a stellar year. Melanie, in comparison, looks like a star who fizzled out before she really showed what she's capable of. However, it is interesting that Oudin does have a WTA title to her name, despite not winning much of her matches for the past year. This match should be a straightforward affair for Keys. She has too much firepower for the diminutive Oudin. This year should be Key's year.

Pick: Keys in straight sets

Monica Puig vs. Alize Cornet

Big things were expected from Puig after her match with Kerber in Brisbane. However, she wilted under the pressure and went missing for the next 2 months. Now, she back after winning her qualifying matches and ready to take on the main draw. She faces a relatively easy opponent in Cornet, who is best on claycourts. With a few matches under her belt, I believe Puig has an advantage over the clay-loving Alize. Monica needs to keep calm when the finishing line is near or else she might lose another heartbreaker when it gets tight.

Pick: Puig in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Daniela Hantuchova, Madison Keys, Kiki Bertens
Upset alerts: Alize Cornet, Sofia Arvidsson, Lucie Hradecka

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