Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Melbourne day 3: Tough match for Samantha again

Upset of the previous day:

Garbine Muguruza def. Kaia Kanepi 6-2 2-6 6-2

Day 2 didn't feature a lot of upsets, and even this loss wasn't really unexpected. Kaia gave a good fight against Muguruza, but it wasn't enough for the young Spaniard to upset the higher ranked Estonian. Pity as Kaia has always been injured and despite her constant struggles, she still manages to maintain a ranking high enough to be seeded. Tough draw for her, but I'm sure Kaia won't be too upset with this loss. She just lost to a future star in the making.

Schedule of play:


Match focus:

Samantha Stosur vs. Tsvetana Pironkova

The road certainly doesn't get easier for local hope, Samantha Stosur. After dispatching Hobart finalist, Klara Zakopalova, she faces Sydney titlelist, Tsvetana Pironkova. These 2 are the most dangerous floaters around and it will be a big task for Stosur to overcome them both. Pironkova is just high on confidence now, and she has won the hearts of many with her triumph in Sydney. With her unorthodox forehand, she can cause trouble to Stosur's game, as Samantha needs to hit the ball sweetly or she will shank the balls badly. If she continues her Sydney form, I don't see why Pironkova cannot continue her fine form.

Pick: Pironkova in 2 tight sets

Flavia Pennetta vs. Monica Puig

It's experience vs. youth again in this intriguing 2nd round match. Pennetta has been on the tour for over ten years and she faces one of the youngest player in the main draw. Monica has a bad habit of failing to close out sets, and she almost let loose a huge lead against Tatishvili. Pennetta will not let Puig get away with that so easily. Despite her age, Pennetta moves very well and hits a potent backhand. Puig needs to be fully concentrated to upset the Italian. As evidenced in her match against Vesnina in Hobart, Puig still lacks the killer punch against experienced players. Flavia should be able to ease through this without much hassle.

Pick: Pennetta in 2 sets

Mona Barthel vs. Luksika Kumkhum

Kumkhum captured the hearts of many with her spirited win over Kvitova. Will she be brought back to Earth by the volatile Mona Barthel? The German is the epitome of blowing hot and cold. She can go from winning a Premier title to losing to a player ranked outside the top 300 in a lowly tournament. The thing that Luksika has going for her is that Barthel doesn't know much about her except for her match against Petra. If she can continue her fearless hitting and take the initiative before Mona, Kumkhum has a chance to continue her run. Let's hope the attention hasn't distracted the humble Thai, and she can perform her best against Barthel.

Pick: Kumkhum in 3 sets

Lauren Davis vs. Julia Goerges

Judging by the dominant effort by Goerges in sweeping away Errani, I think she's back to her 2011 form. Julia was unfazed by Sara's retrieving and went after the spinny balls for winners. Against a lesser version of Errani in Davis, Goerges should be able to pass the test. The American had a kind draw, facing unheralded Sashia Vickery in her first round. Provided Julia continues her fine form, a win for the German is expected.

Pick: Goerges in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Li Na, Serena Williams, Ekaterina Makarova, Alison Riske, Kirsten Flipkens
Upset alert: Lauren Davis, Samantha Stosur, Mona Barthel, Daniela Hantuchova

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