Friday, 30 August 2013

US Open day 5: Robson to topple Li again?

Upset of the previous day:

Flavia Pennetta def. Sara Errani 6-3 6-1

I was right. Sara Errani is the weakest top 4 seed in a while to be featured in a Grand Slam. On clay, there is no doubt she is one of the top 4 players. However, outside of clay, she's very vulnerable to be overpowered by the others. Pennetta played a clean and smart match, like she has always on the American hard courts. There was nothing much Sara could have done better. Flavia was just too good. With her semi-final points dropping, Errani will be falling down the rankings, which might be a good thing as there is less pressure for her.

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Laura Robson vs. Li Na

A rematch of last year's 3rd round clash, Li will be looking to exact revenge on Laura Robson, who ousted her in her breakout tournament. Last year, Laura had nothing to lose and swung freely. This year, British hopes are all pinned on her and she has the pressure of performing well now. Li needs to be patient and wait for Robson's errors. If she commits the error first, the match might be over quickly. Li is the one who has nothing to lose now, defending her points from last year, so she should be the one who is less uptight.

Pick: Li in 3 sets

Kaia Kanepi vs. Angelique Kerber

Kaia Kanepi seems to be able to shake the rust off instantly as she did so many times throughout her career. She wins 2 matches and will face the scrappy German, Angelique Kerber. The Estonian's power game will be put to the test against the quick German. This is where match play is important. Despite coming in with poor form, the determined German should have the advantage of match play, and grind out a tight win over Kanepi.

Pick: Kerber in 3 sets

Jamie Hampton vs. Sloane Stephens

The future of American tennis will be played on Arthur Ashe stadium as the marquee match. Sloane Stephens reversed her passive game to dominate Radwanska, which is the way she should be playing. If she plays as well as she did against the Pole, Hampton will be brushed aside. Jamie does have a nice game herself, but she's too prone to errors and her weaker backhand tends to be exploited. I expect a similar match to their previous encounter in Wimbledon, with Sloane emerging as the winner.

Pick: Stephens in 2 tight sets

Ekaterina Makarova vs. Sabine Lisicki

The powerful Lisicki will face fellow hard-hitter, Ekaterina Makarova. The difference between these 2 players is that Lisicki has a far better movement then Makarova, who plays a bit like a lefty Davenport. However, Makarova's second serve can be attacked and Sabine will be sure to pounce all over it. If the German maintains her standard she has shown for her past 2 matches, she should have this in the bag.

Pick: Lisicki in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Agnieszka Radwanska
Upset alert: None!

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