Saturday, 27 April 2013

Stuttgart and Marrakech Final: Struggling Sharapova

Stuttgart final:

Maria Sharapova vs. Li Na

Sharapova has played 3 straight setters going into the final and she seems to be struggling on the red clay. However, she emerged as the winner despite her troubles and looks extremely eager to defend her title here in Stuttgart. Li on the other hand had a smooth passage into the final, winning all her matches in straight sets. She looks to be in ominous form and will definitely cause Maria some trouble. Their last meeting was in Melbourne, where Li shocked Sharapova easily in the semi-finals, so I believe Li has the confidence to do it again. Compounded with Maria's on court struggles, the Chinese should be able to bag her first title of the year.

Pick: Li in 2 sets

Marrakeck final:

Francesca Schiavone vs. Lourdes Dominguez Lino

For every match Lourdes Dominguez Lino wins, tennis dies a little. The diminutive Spaniard has the world's most unimaginative game ever and she can only win matches in small Mickey Mouse tournaments like these. Francesca seems to be back in form, handling her oppositions with relative ease. The crafty Italian should have enough tricks in her bag to take out the boring Dominguez Lino.

Pick: Schiavone in 2 sets

Thursday, 25 April 2013


I was away this week and thus didn't have time to update this blog! Will be a busy May for me as well but I will try to drop in a few quick comments here if time allows!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Katowice final: Petra or Roberta?


Petra Kvitova vs. Roberta Vinci

The top 2 seeds reached the finals without much struggle and Petra will be looking for her second title of the year. However, Roberta is in red hot form, dismissing Annika Beck with the loss of only 1 game. Will Vinci finally claim her first title since 2011? Vinci needs to be patient and wait for the right moment to attack Petra but Kvitova will not be looking for rallies. Clay will suit Vinci better but Kvitova can hit through any surface when she's zoning. It will be a close match and hopefully an entertaining one.

Pick: Vinci in 3 sets

Friday, 12 April 2013

Double trouble

Just when my internet is back, my PC breaks down. What rotten luck. I will not be updating this blog until everything goes back to normal! Sorry for the lack of updates! :(

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Katowice day 4: Old dogs are back


Kiki Bertens vs. Roberta Vinci
Irina Camelia-Begu vs. Alexandra Cadantu
Jill Craybas vs. Shahar Peer
Petra Kvitova vs. Mandy Minella

Match focus:

Kiki Bertens vs. Roberta Vinci

Young upstart Kiki Bertens will take on in-form Roberta Vinci in this intriguing match. It will be a test of power vs variety and experience. Kiki possess the heavy groundstrokes and plays the modern game while Vinci plays the traditional chip and volley game. The young Dutch will need to adapt fast or the match will be over quickly. Kiki has a chance but I believe the experience of Vinci will give her the win.

Pick: Vinci in 3 sets

Jill Craybas vs. Shahar Peer

Looks who's back on the main tour! 2 of the tour's veterans make a comeback especially Jill Craybas, who has been languishing in ITF challengers tournaments with little success. Both players had terrible years and both are lucky to be still in the tournament actually. Craybas is here because of Goerges' retirement and Peer is in the draw as a lucky loser. Although I love Jill for her perseverance and love for the game, Peer should have enough firepower to move her around the court. It would be nice for the 38(!) year old to get the win, but Shahar will prevail.

Pick: Peer in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Petra Kvitova, Irina Camelia-Begu
Upset alert: None

Monday, 8 April 2013

Internet down!

Sorry for the lack of updates but my home Internet is down! I'm sending this from my mobile phone. :x I will get back to updating Katowice once my Internet is back! :)

Friday, 5 April 2013

Charleston & Monterrey Day 5: Delayed matches


Venus Williams vs. Varvara Lepchenko
Serena Williams vs. Mallory Burdette
Stefanie Voegele vs. Caroline Wozniacki
Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. Madison Keys
Sorana Cirstea vs. Lucie Safarova
Jelena Jankovic vs. Eugenie Bouchard


Monica Niculescu vs. Timea Babos
Angelique Kerber vs. Ayumi Morita
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Lauren Davis
Maria Kirilenko vs. Urszula Radwanska

Match focus:

Jelena Jankovic vs. Eugenie Bouchard

Benefitting from Stosur's withdrawal, Eugenie faces a resurgent Jelena Jankovic. The Serb is still struggling in her matches, but at least she's emerging as the winner in her matches now. It seems like the breakthrough in Miami has given her fire and she's getting back her defensive game. Eugenie needs to be patient as Jelena can defend extremely well and on this clay, she will have the advantage in long rallies. If the Canadian can hit big and end the points quickly, she should have a chance. However, I believe experience will come through in the end.

Pick: Jankovic in 2 sets

Angelique Kerber vs. Ayumi Morita

Angelique Kerber is just plain unconvincing in her first 2 wins here in Monterrey. A player of hr calibre shouldn't be losing sets to players like Kudryavtseva. Which is why her real test should come in the form of Ayumi Morita. The diminutive Japanese is having a great year and should push Kerber to the limits. If the German doesn't step up, an upset will be very likely.

Pick: Morita in 3 sets

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Lauren Davis

Is Anastasia back on track? You just never know with this unpredictable Russian. Davis' grinding game will test whether Pavlyuchenkova is back in form. When she's playing well, the Russian can move her opponents around beautifully. Lauren's limited game will not stand the test. However, the possibility that Anastasia hits the error first is just as high. It will be close, but it seems like Pavlyuchenkova has regressed from her impressive Brisbane form sadly.

Pick: Davis in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Caroline Wozniacki, Monica Niculescu, Jelena Jankovic
Upset alert: Angelique Kerber, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Charleston, Monterrey Day 4: Petkovic withdraws; Venus in doubt


Caroline Wozniacki def. Andrea Petkovic w/o
Serena Williams vs. Mallory Burdette
Varvara Lepchenko vs. Venus Williams
Sorana Cirstea vs. Lucie Safarova
Eugenie Bouchard vs. Samantha Stosur
Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. Madison Keys
Stefanie Voegele vs. Julia Goerges
Jessica Pegula vs. Jelena Jankovic


Lauren Davis vs. Coco Vandeweghe
Maria Kirilenko vs. Jovana Jaksic
Angelique Kerber vs. Alla Kudryavtseva

Match focus:

Varvara Lepchenko vs. Venus Williams

Any match involving Venus seems to be a struggle. You just never know which Venus will turn up. The elder Williams toughed out a win over Monica Puig but not without a scare. Will she survive the tricky Lepchenko? Venus needs to be 100% healthy to take on Varvara or else she might as well be resting at home. I do feel she's ruining her legacy by settling for mediocrity but you can see she really enjoys competing. I love Venus but a steady Lepchenko will be able to take her out.

Pick: Lepchenko in 3 sets

Sorana Cirstea vs. Lucie Safarova

2 of WTA's most volatile players meet as Lucie somehow wins a match here. Cirstea has been pretty steady for this year so I'll give the edge to her. Lucie's confidence is just low and she's barely winning matches against anyone. Don't expect variety here as these 2 will bash the living hell out of the furball.

Pick: Cirstea in 2 tight sets

Lauren Davis vs. Coco Vandeweghe

Coco unexpectedly upsets Marion Bartoli to set up an all-American clash here. Marion's loss is really puzzling as the Frenchwoman is having an up and down year. Maybe her split with her dad was too traumatic. Anyway, Davis will be the one grinding Vandeweghe with her patient game. Coco will be too impatient and inconsistent to counter Davis' game. I'll pick the younger American for the win.

Pick: Davis in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Maria Kirilenko
Upset alert: Lucie Safarova, Venus Williams

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Charleston, Monterrey Day 2: Unknown factors


Anna Tatishvili vs. Sabine Lisicki
Melanie Oudin vs. Jelena Jankovic
Serena Williams vs. Camila Giorgi
Mona Barthel vs. Jessica Pegula
Sloane Stephens vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Daniela Hantuchova vs. Marina Erakovic
Alexandra Cadantu vs. Madison Keys
Laura Robson vs. Estrella Cabeza Candela
Varvara Lepchenko vs. Mathilde Johansson
Yaroslava Shvedova vs. Vania King
Yulia Putintseva vs. Julia Goerges
Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Stefanie Voegele
Sorana Cirstea vs. Anabel Medina Garrigues
Romina Oprandi vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni


Jana Cepelova vs. Ayumi Morita
Vera Dushevina vs. Jovana Jaksic
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Nina Bratchikova
Coco Vandeweghe vs. Marion Bartoli
Maria Kirilenko vs. Ximena Hermoso
Marta Sirotkina vs. Ana Ivanovic
Angelique Kerber vs. Samantha Crawford
Julia Cohen vs. Donna Vekic
Alla Kudryavtseva vs. Eva Birnerova
Olga Puchkova vs. Lauren Davis
Daria Gavrilova vs. Tereza Mrdeza

Match focus:

Yaroslava Shvedova vs. Vania King

Former doubles partners clash in this intriguing first round. Both players are not in form with Shvedova only winning one match throughout the year. Will King be kind enough to give Shvedova a much needed win for a confidence boost? Yaroslava's issues must be mental as she was hitting her stride last year during Roland Garros to Wimbledon. Her sudden loss of form is puzzling and if she continues to lose, I'm afraid she'll be outside the top 100 again very soon. King should take advantage of this weak draw, as she's always on the verge but stops short everytime.

Pick: King in 3 sets

Yulia Putintseva vs. Julia Goerges

Julia Goerges is just an unknown factor. When you expect her to win, she loses to the weirdest opponent. When she's not favoured, she turns it on and upsets the higher ranked player. For my sanity's sake, I won't bother with Julia's form. Yulia is a hard hitting youngster who shows no fear (and respect) for her opponents. Expect her to keep Julia pinned to the baseline if Julia's serves are not landing in.

Pick: Putintseva in 3 sets

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Nina Bratchikova

As with Goerges, Pavlyuchenkova is also an unknown. You'll never know which Anastasia will turn up. Since her Brisbane run, she's barely winning matches and you have to think Nina Bratchikova stands a chance. Even though her form isn't that good either, Nina will definitely challenge Pavlyuchenkova given how shaky her performances are for the last 3 months. Will Nina finish the job? Or will the real Pavlyuchenkova be back?

Pick: Pavluchenkova in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Serena Williams, Sorana Cirstea, Marion Bartoli
Upset alert: Marina Erakovic, Julia Goerges, Olga Puchkova

Monday, 1 April 2013

Charleston, Monterrey: Paszek, walking bye


Jamie Hampton vs. Olga Govortsova
Varvara Lepchenko vs. Christina McHale
Francesca Schiavone vs. Silvia Soler-Espinosa
Andrea Petkovic vs. Taylor Townsend
Sorana Cirstea vs. Tatjana Malek
Anastasia Rodionova vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Arantxa Rus vs. Anabel Medina Garrigues
Melinda Czink vs. Mathilde Johansson
Mallory Burdette vs. Kristina Mladenovic
Grace Min vs. Tamira Pazsek
Garbine Muguruza vs. Jessica Pegula
Monica Puig vs. Andrea Hlavackova
Nastassja Burnett vs. Eugenie Bouchard
Chanelle Scheepers vs. Caroline Garcia
Mandy Minella vs. Camila Giorgi
Stefanie Voegele vs. Teliana Pereira


Maria Sanchez vs. Urszula Radwanska
Monica Niculesca vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm
Timea Babos vs. Ana Sofia Sanchez
Yanina Wickmayer vs. Valeria Savinykh
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Nina Bratchikova
Galina Voskoboeva vs. Eleni Daniilidou

Match focus:

Varvara Lepchenko vs. Christina McHale

Varvara Lepchenko is having an indistinct year after her breakthrough 2012. Same goes to Christina McHale, who seemed to be heading up in 2011 and 2012. It will be a difficult task to predict the outcome for these players with  no form. However, Lepchenko leads the heads to heads 2-1 with a walkover for McHale. Christina did win their last meeting so the advantage should lie with the younger American. Lepchenko looks like she's having a sophomore slump and McHale might take adavantage of that and break out of her own slump.

Pick: McHale in 3 sets

Grace Min vs. Tamira Pazsek

Tamira Pazsek has only won 1 match this year and she barely scraped past Stefanie Voegele in Melbourne. It has come to the point where it doesn't matter who her opponent is anymore. Her slump is just unstoppable and Grace Min will be silly not to take advantage of this walking bye. Grace had a good juniors career but found it hard to translate it to the seniors tour, losing close matches. If she can hold her nerve here, she can kickstart her young career.

Pick: Min in 3 sets

Monica Niculesca vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm

This won't be your typical hard-hitting WTA match for sure. Niculescu will attempt to out junk Kimiko Date-Krumm, but Kimiko has seen it all before. The Japanese is capable of hitting funky shots as well so it should be an interesting match. Monica has age on her side but Kimiko has the experience. I think Monica is having a dip in form after her ecstatic win in Florianopolis, so I'm going with the Japanese.

Pick: Date-Krumm in 3 tight sets

Miami scorecard: Serena's home

A+: Serena Williams

Virtually unbeatable in Miami. Not her best tennis but lifts her level at the right time.

A: Maria Sharapova

Eternal bridesmaid here in Miami. Did very well to take a set off Serena.

A-: Jelena Jankovic

Her first Premier semi-final in ages. Although slaughtered by Sharapova, did well to reach there.

B+: Li Na

First tournament back and surprisingly rust-free. Pushed Serena to the limit.

B: Kirsten Flipkens

First quarter-final of a Premier event, taking out Kvitova.

B-: Agnieszka Radwanska

Losing sets to almost anybody and got brushed off easily by Serena. Not the way to try to defend your title.

C+: Garbine Muguruza

Loves Miami as she defends her 4th round points from last year. Took out the overranked Wozniacki.

C: Andrea Petkovic

Did so well to win her first 2 matches, only to lose to unknown, Tomljanovic. Tough nut to swallow.

C-: Ana Ivanovic

I thought she's on her way back after her impressive win over Svetlana. How wrong was I... Destined to be a middling top 20 player.

D: Petra Kvitova

Dubai was a fluke? Back to her flaky ways as she flopped badly against Flipkens.

E: Angelique Kerber

Seems to be injured again as she was easily brushed aside by Cirstea. Tough year for her.

F: Caroline Wozniacki

No words to describe how ridiculous her loss was. No plan B, no initiative. Most embarrassing number 1 ever.