Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Madrid day 5: Is Vika 100%?

Schedule of play:

Kaia Kanepi vs. Carla Suarez Navarro
Victoria Azarenka vs. Ekaterina Makarova
Ana Ivanovic vs. Laura Robson
Varvara Lepchenko vs. Julia Goerges
Angelique Kerber vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Kristina Mladenovic vs. Maria Kirilenko
Petra Kvitova vs. Daniela Hantuchova

Match focus:

Victoria Azarenka vs. Ekaterina Makarova

Azarenka struggled mightily against Pavlyuchenkova in her first round match. She might be rusty from her long injury layoff but her mental resilience saw her through. Will she be ready for another Russian assault? Makarova isn't a clay courter, so things will be easier for the former number 1. I expect an easier outing for Victoria, even if she's not at 100%.

Pick: Azarenka in 2 sets

Angelique Kerber vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova

The floater which everyone wants to avoid might cause another potential upset here. Kerber plays well on all surfaces but clay will have to be her weakest surface. Kuznetsova thrives on clay, having won Roland Garros before. This should be an interesting match-up. Kerber will try to induce errors from the Russian but I believe Svetlana has the game to take out the wily German. It won't be easy, but I believe Kuznetsova's superior clay experience will get her another upset win.

Pick: Kuznetsova in 3 sets

Ana Ivanovic vs. Laura Robson

Laura Robson caused the upset of the tournament by taking out Agnieszka Radwanska. Will she be able to do it again against Ana Ivanovic? The problem with Laura is that she can play lights out tennis one day, and miss the court the next. Ana will have to hang in with Robson until she loses the confidence and starts missing. As usual, experience counts in this kind of matches, where it's difficult to play well after a huge upset. Besides, Ana is in fine form, smashing Scheepers in style.

Pick: Ivanovic in 2 tight sets

Sure win bets: Maria Kirilenko, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka

Upset alert: Angelique Kerber, Julia Goerges, Kaia Kanepi

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