Thursday, 13 June 2013

Birmingham and Nurnberg day 5: Is Daniela back?

Birmingham Schedule of play:

Sorana Cirstea vs. Donna Vekic
Daniela Hantuchova vs. Francesca Schiavone
Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Madison Keys
Sabine Lisicki vs. Alison Riske

Nurnberg Schedule of play:

Jelena Jankovic vs. Andrea Petkovic
Lucie Safarova vs. Simona Halep

Match focus:

Daniela Hantuchova vs. Francesca Schiavone

2 former top 10 aging veterans turn back the clock and face off in this quarter-final match. Schiavone was never much of a grass courter despite reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon a few years ago. Daniela is the one who has the more stellar and consistent results here. However, you have to question if the long match with Mladenovic took some gas out of the Slovakian. Daniela needs to serve big and play first strike tennis. If she goes into long drawn rallies, she's going to lose.

Pick: Hantuchova in 3 sets

Jelena Jankovic vs. Andrea Petkovic

Another pair of former top 10 players face off in Nurnberg semi-finals. Petkovic is on a comeback trail and narrowly defeated Beck in her previous round. Jankovic had a smooth journey to the semi-finals in comparison. Will Andrea have enough left in the tank to upset Jelena? Interestingly, Petkovic leads the heads to heads 3-2. However, with the amount of matches Petkovic has played recently, and Jelena's fine form in Paris, you'll have to pick the Serb. Anyway, any match that doesn't result in an injury for Petkovic is a victory in itself.

Pick: Jankovic in 3 sets

Lucie Safarova vs. Simona Halep

Out of nowhere, Lucie Safarova reaches a semi-final. Despite doing nothing much for half of the year, Safarova still manages to sustain a relatively high ranking. However, her journey is almost bound to stop against Simona Halep. The Romanian had a giant killing spree in Rome and looks to continue her fine form here. A faster surface would favour the Czech, but the slow clay will give Simona the edge. Look out for the upset here.

Pick: Halep in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Sabine Lisicki, Sorana Cirstea, Jelena Jankovic
Upsets alert: Francesca Schiavone, Magdalena Rybarikova, Lucie Safarova

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