Saturday, 1 January 2011

WTA Brisbane

Brisbane is headlined by number 1 seed Samantha Stosur, Shahar Peer, Nadia Petrova and Marion Bartoli. Stosur is currently ranked at number 6 in the world after a stellar 2010 season and will look to build in this stage of the season where she is defending relatively few points. She faces a qualifier in Round 1 but faces a potentially tricky 2nd round match with fellow Australian, Jarmilla Groth. Also in her section is Andrea Petkovic who was impressive in 2010 and is heavily tipped by many to continue her rise in the rankings. I anticipate Stosur to start slowly this season and that Groth will cause a minor upset; however it is Petkovic who I fancy to make the QF's in this section. Bartoli has a relatively straightforward draw to the QF's where she should meet the hard-hitter Kleybanova, who I am predicting will start to show some more consistency in her game this year.

In the bottom half, Flavia Pennetta faces a tough opener against Roberta Vinci who ended 2010 in a rich vein of form. With their current head-to-head at 4-4, i'm predicting a Vinci victory. Both Petrova and Pavlyuchenkova look to have good draws on paper with the former looking most likely to progress to the final. A-Pav is one that I have always tipped but her form dipped dramatically at the end of 2010 with a number of one-sided defeats demonstrating both tiredness and a lack of fighting spirit. I do however expect her to come back stronger at the start of this year and continue her progression up the rankings. Shahar Peer was superb in 2010 and will have a almighty task this year to defend the points she earnt last year. Unfortunately I cannot see her matching her seeding by making the final.

1st Round Tips - Chakvetadze to beat Hantuchova, Vinci to beat Pennetta and Petrova to beat Kvitova

Predicted QF line-up - Groth v Petkovic, Bartoli v Kleybanova, Vinci v Petrova and Pavlyuchenkova v Safarova

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