Saturday, 3 August 2013

Washington, Carlsbad SF: Azarenka's title to lose


Magdalena Rybarikova vs. Ekaterina Makarova

What an upset from Magdalena Rybarikova over Angelique Kerber. She kept her nerves and finished the job against one of the mentally toughest players on tour. Let's see if she can replicate that performance against Makarova, who's breezing through the draw easily. With her wicked lefty serve, Makarova is at an advantage, but Rybarikova already had practice against Kerber's lefty serve. I'm sure Ekaterina will be more aggressive than the German top seed, so I believe the Russian has a chance of reaching the finals.

Pick: Makarova in 3 sets

Alize Cornet vs. Andrea Petkovic

Andrea Petkovic wasn't entirely convincing in her win over Ormaechea, but she got the job done. She will have a lot of balls to hit against Alize Cornet, who can run the whole day retrieving balls. Andrea will have to serve well and keep her game clean against the defensive Frenchwoman. This will be a good gauge on whether Petkovic's back to her top 10 form, as she will beat players like Cornet convincingly in the past. If she manages to win this, I'm sure she's a hot favourite for the final.

Pick: Petkovic in 2 sets


Victoria Azarenka vs. Ana Ivanovic

Azarenka seems to be fully recovered from her injury in Wimbledon, demolishing her opponents in easy style. This is not good news for Ana Ivanovic, who has difficulty playing Azarenka. Ana's last win was 3 years ago in Cincinnati, where Azarenka choked the match away. This is not the same Victoria anymore as evidence by her demolition of Ivanovic last year in Wimbledon. Ana needs to pray Azarenka picks up a new injury, or else she's not going to win this.

Pick: Azarenka in 2 easy sets

Virginie Razzano vs. Samantha Stosur

Virginie Razzano must be tired after her marathon match against Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals. Kvitova seemed to be back on track, only to throw in a craptastic match against Razzano. Nevertheless, kudos to Razzano for hanging on and making the most of the draw. Stosur upset Radwanska for the semi-final place and will be extremely confident of her chances against Razzano. This is the Aussir's first semi-final appearance this year, and I believe it will be her first final appearance here as well.

Pick: Stosur in 2 sets

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