Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Sydney SF, Hobart QF: Surprise package Pironkova

Sydney SF:

Tsvetana Pironkova vs. Petra Kvitova

After a disastrous 2013, nobody would have expected Pironkova to rise from the ashes again. The Bulgarian is out to prove everyone wrong as she upsets the ever steady Errani to reach her first semi-final since... I honestly have no idea. She will face an uphill task against Kvitova though, as the Czech looks to be in top form in her dismissal of Safarova. Pironkova will need to keep her first serve percentage up to have a chance, as Petra will thump her weak second serves for winners.

Pick: Kvitova in 2 sets

Madison Keys vs. Angelique Kerber

Madison Keys first broke through here last year and she seems to be in love with this tournament as she advances to her first Premier semi-final. Even though she didn't complete her quarter-final match, she deserves to be here with her improved consistency. The American will need to use all of her court sense to outhit the gritty German. Kerber's retrieving game can be undone by smart power players, kind of like how Mattek Sands took out Radwanska. Keys will need to know when to pull the trigger. Given that this is her first semi-final appearance, I doubt Keys is ready to snatch the win away from Angelique. I might be close, but the German will emerge victorious.

Pick: Kerber in 3 sets

Hobart QF:

Samantha Stosur vs. Bojana Jovanovski

Samantha is just plain lucky to be still in this tournament. She needs a hypnotherapist to get her to think she's not playing in Australia. In her homeland, she folds like a cheap tent. Against lesser opponents, she got out of jail twice. But against the hard hitting Jovanovski, she should be shown the door now. Sadly, she's like the modern Mauresmo, who always had to live up to heavy expectations in their home slam, and fail miserably every time.

Pick: Jovanovski in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Petra Kvitova, Kirsten Flipkens, Monica Niculescu
Upset alert: Klara Zakopalova, Samantha Stosur

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