Monday, 6 May 2013

Madrid Day 4: Russian veterans battle

Schedule of play:

Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor vs. Marion Bartoli
Serena Williams vs. Lourdes Dominguez Lino
Christina McHale vs. Maria Sharapova
Dominika Cibulkova vs. Sabine Lisicki
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Nadia Petrova
Ana Ivanovic vs. Chanelle Scheepers
Anabel Medina Garrigues vs. Madison Keys
Yaroslava Shvedova vs. Kirsten Flipkens

Match focus:

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Nadia Petrova

These 2 Russian veterans have met 7 times and Kuznetsova has won 5 of them. However, Petrova won their last encounter all the way back in 2010. It's time to renew this rivalry as Kuznetsova attempts to stamp her authority and gain a seeding for Paris. Going by their win-lose record this year, it's hard not to pick Kuznetsova. She's been winning a lot of matches lately while Nadia stands at 8-7 for the year. Not to mention, Svetlana knows how to play Nadia, so I'm going with the former French Open champion.

Pick: Kuznetsova in 2 sets

Dominika Cibulkova vs. Sabine Lisicki

Both players are having a turbulent year with highs and lows. Cibulkova has several puzzling losses this year with some good wins littered in between. Which Dominika will show up? The same question can be asked of Sabine Lisicki, who can hit a purple patch where she just cannot miss. One thing's for sure, these 2 will bash the hell out of the tennis ball. Sabine's game is not really suited for clay, so I'm going to go with the Slovak here. I hope Lisicki puts up a good fight though.

Pick: Cibulkova in 3 sets

Yaroslava Shvedova vs. Kirsten Flipkens

Two bespectacled ladies face off in this match. The Belgian is quickly getting used to winning a lot of matches and is comfortable filling the huge gap left by the retirement of Clijsters and Henin. Shvedova is no slouch as well, dismissing Wozniacki with ease. However, Flipkens will have a higher confidence due to her stellar year so far, while Shvedova barely won matches throughout this year. I believe Flipkens is on her way into the top 15 and will come out as the victor here.

Pick: Flipkens in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic
Upset alert: Nadia Petrova, Anabel Medina Garrigues

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