Thursday, 1 August 2013

Washington, Carlsbad day 4: Rained out Washington

Washington schedule:

Carlsbad schedule:

Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Virginie Razzano
Urszula Radwanska vs. Jelena Jankovic
Daniela Hantuchova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
Coco Vandeweghe vs. Ana Ivanovic

Match focus:

Monica Niculescu vs. Madison Keys

I thought Madison was an undisciplined ball basher with no plan B, but I was proven wrong by her in Wimbledon. Keys gave her all against Radwanska in her 3rd round match but lost narrowly in 3 sets. If she converted her important points, she might very well reach the latter stages of Wimbledon. Anyway, Monica's junk balls have already unsettled Taylor Townsend, Keys has more experience, so she should be able to handle the rubbish that Niculescu throws at her. Madison is on her way up and is my black horse pick for this tournament.

Pick: Keys in 2 sets

Urszula Radwanska vs. Jelena Jankovic

The less talented Radwanska sister will face former number one, Jelena Jankovic for a place in the quarter-finals. Jelena's game is similar to Urszula, just that she has more pop in her shots. Also, Urszula's forehand is a major liability, so if the Serb goes for her kill shot backhand down the line, she will be successful 9 out of 10 times. The only thing that is preventing me from predicting this as a sure win is Jelena's motivation. She is showing signs of fatigue and maybe the years on tour have taken a toll on her. Let's see if she can maintain her drive and give a final push for a Grand Slam in US Open.

Pick: Jankovic in 2 sets

Daniela Hantuchova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

Daniela Hantuchova served her first double bagel in her career in her first round against Tamira Paszek. This should be a warning to Radwanska not to take Hantuchova too lightly. The Slovak seems to be rejuvenated by her doubles pairing with Hingis and some of the magic has rubbed off on her. Radwanska's retrieving game is ideal against the slow Daniela, but if Hantuchova gets the first strike, she will be tough to beat. Radwanska seems to be quite shaken by her game in recent weeks, losing to big hitters like Lisicki and Cibulkova. Maybe Hantuchova is next?

Pick: Radwanska in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Alize Cornet, Carla Suarez Navarro, Ana Ivanovic
Upset alert: Ekaterina Makarova, Sorana Cirstea

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