Thursday, 27 February 2014

Acapulco, Florianopolis SF: Buckling under pressure

Some players thrive under pressure, while others just crawl back into their holes. Eugenie Bouchard has been thrusted into the limelight and the added pressure on her seems to be taking a toll, as she succumbs meekly to Caroline Garcia. I guess it was too much too soon for the Canadian.

Acapulco match focus:

Dominika Cibulkova vs. Zhang Shuai

Cibulkova ought to be careful of Zhang, as she showed her fighting capabilities in all her matches here in Acapulco. However, Dominika has the experience on her side, so she should be able to get through this match. Cibulkova just needs to protect her serve and let her groundstrokes do the work.

Pick: Cibulkova in 2 sets

Christina McHale vs. Caroline Garcia

Fresh from her upset win over Bouchard, Garcia must be brimming with confidence. If she carries her form forward, she might be able to reach her maiden WTA final. Both players have never reached a final before, so it will be a nervous affair. Garcia has more flair while McHale is more steady. Contrasting styles make this match an interesting affair, and I predict a close 3 set match here. Hopefully Garcia will fulfil her potential and show that she's no one match wonder.

Pick: Garcia in 3 tight sets

Florianopolis SF:

Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Klara Zakopalova

If only this was a final, we would have an extremely interesting situation here. Both players are well known to falter in the finals, with Suarez Navarro winning 0 out of 5 finals, and Zakopalova winning 2 out of 14 finals. Carla has won their last 2 meetings, but they are tied at 2 all. I do think that Klara should be exhausted from all her activity recently, so I think the Spaniard will emerge the victor. And hopefully, whoever wins this can finally clinch the title!

Pick: Suarez Navarro in 2 sets

Yaroslava Shvedova vs. Garbine Muguruza

For someone who is able to golden set a top 10 player, Shvedova is really an underachiever. She has always been a streaky player but her lows are more than her highs. This week, she hits a high with this semi-final appearance, but the problem is can she keep it up? For Shvedova, she needs to know when to play the right shot. She has all the shots, but her mental game is a mess and she fades when things don't go her way. Garbine however is a fighter. She might not have the quickest feet or the biggest serve, but she perseveres until the end. Against Yaroslava, the Spaniard just needs to weather the storm and wait for Shvedova to crumble.

Pick: Muguruza in 2 sets

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