Thursday, 4 August 2011

San Diego Update

The 2nd round of action was completed on Tuesday and Wednesday in San Diego with the majority of top seeds progressing to the third round. The top 3 seeds all advanced in straight sets but were made to work hard. Vera Zvonareva overcame Jill Craybas, 6-4 7-5 in a rare WTA match that was dominated by serve as Zvonareva broke once in each set. Andrea Petkovic squandered several leads in each set but eventually distinguished the hopes of Alexa Glatch, 6-3 6-4. Agnieszka Radwanska needed a second set tiebreak to defeat the British hope of Elena Baltacha, 6-0 7-6 in a surprisingly similar scoreline to their last meet up at Roland Garros which ended 6-0 7-5.

Petkovic will now play Virginie Razzano in the Round of 16

Peng Shuai and Daniela Hantuchova both continued their good recent form with straightforward 6-1 6-3 victories. Peng served especially well throughout the contest converting 82% of her first serves. She reminds me of the likes of Jankovic and Radwanska in being very consistent but without a big weapon to help her win enough matches in a row to win a title. She has however had some big scalps this year and she will be dangerous this week in San Diego as she has a good draw. Ana Ivanovic turned the tables on Ayumi Morita by avenging her 1st round defeat to her in Stanford last week. Ivanovic did have to come back from 5-0 down in the second set before finally defeating Morita, 6-1 7-6. Sabine Lisicki also progressed into the 3rd round with another dominating performance; she has lost just five games in her first two matches against Greta Arn and Kimiko Date Krumm.

The biggest seed to fall was Julia Goerges who has now lost her last 4 matches as she was defeated 6-3 7-5 by the talented youngster, Sloane Stephens. Goerges has failed to live up to the excitement she sparked when she beat the world number 1, Caroline Wozniacki in successive weeks during the clay court season. It is starting to look like a flash in the pan. I don't think its because Goerges is not talented but she does not have the consistency on her huge groundstrokes. This means she can be sensational one week but terrible the next, which is frustrating to see. Maria Kirilenko pulled out of her second round match against Tamira Paszek with injury and Roberta Vinci was stunned by Jie Zheng, 6-4 6-2. Zheng often struggles on her serve but she was only broken once in a commanding 2nd round performance.

Zheng will now play Hantuchova, who won in their previous encounter at Eastbourne

Other notable performances included a collapse from Sofia Arvidsson as she wasted a 6-0 3-0 lead and numerous match points to lose to Alberta Brianti, 0-6 7-6 7-6. Christina Mchale also won through in comfortable fashion against Alla Kudryavtseva as she continues to look an exciting prospect on the tour. If she gets a good draw, she could be one name to watch out for at the US Open. The eight matches of the 3rd round will play tonight and I don't fancy any upsets to be honest! If I had to have a punt, I would go for Sloane Stephens to beat Tamira Paszek at 7/4 with most bookmakers. Paszek has an exhausting last two weeks and I feel she could be vulnerable tonight.

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