Sunday, 4 May 2014

Madrid day 3: A real test for Radwanska

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Eugenie Bouchard vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

Agnieszka needs to be on the alert in her first match against the rapidly rising Bouchard. The Pole didn't fare well in Stuttgart, going down in straights against Sharapova. Clay is probably her least favourite surface but Eugenie's game isn't much suited for the slow surface as well. I believe the Pole has the game to excel on red clay, but she just needs to believe in herself. Bouchard will not go away easily, but Radwanska's mental game will see her through.

Pick: Radwanska in 3 sets

Simona Halep vs. Julia Goerges

Simona didn't begin her clay court season as well as she expected, going down to experienced Kuznetsova in Stuttgart. She will try to right the course against Julia Goerges. On clay, Julia will always be a factor. But Halep's patient counterpunching game is Goerges' headache as the German often pulls the trigger at the wrong moments. Julia has already been picking up her form in recent weeks, but I think it's not enough to overcome Simona. A close match this will be, but Halep will prevail based on her mental strength as well.

Pick; Halep in 3 sets

Samantha Stosur vs. Dominika Cibulkova

Cibulkova infamously commented on Stosur playing like a man after her loss to the Australian in Paris 2012. She will have the chance to get her first win now given how badly Samantha performed in Oeiras and with her playing the best tennis of her life. Stosur was just shockingly bad against Bacsinszky in Portugal and it will be hard to pick up the pieces after that. Dominika needs to seize the moment and clinch an important victory. If she wins this, this will prove that she's ready to be a top player.

Pick: Cibulkova in 2 tight sets

Sure win bets: Li Na, Carla Suarez Navarro, Jelena Jankovic
Upset alert: Zhang Shuai, Caroline Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki

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