Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Wozniacki & Ivanovic to meet in Dubai quarters

Ana Ivanovic
This week's tournament in Dubai has seen its fair share of withdrawals with Victoria Azarenka pulling out of the tournament today (as I had suspected!) and joining the likes of Petra Kvitova, Li Na and Vera Zvonareva on the sidelines. However as the second round of action wrapped on Wednesday, all remaining five seeds progressed towards a stellar quarter-final line-up that looks much more exciting on paper than last week's dull-fest in Doha.  Two former world number one's will square off in one of those quarter-finals as Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic both won today in straight sets.  Wozniacki put in a much improved display compared to her last match in Doha as she beat the in-form Simona Halep, 6-2 6-3.  Ivanovic defeated Maria Kirilenko, 6-2 7-6 gaining revenge on the Russian who had trounced the Serb in their previous match in Tokyo last year.

Sam Stosur was involved in the only second round match that went to three sets  as she lost a tight second set to Lucie Safarova, which was bookmarked by two breadsticks in a 6-1 6-7 6-1 victory.  Stosur is really starting to find her feet in 2012 after a sluggish start in Australia where she couldn't cope with the pressure of the expectant home crowd.  Stosur will play Jelena Jankovic in the quarter-finals, who she has not played since last year's tournament in Dubai.  Jankovic had one of her better wins as she eased past a woeful Flavia Pennetta in a 6-4 6-2 victory.

Sabine Lisicki played her worst match of 2012 last week in Doha, but demonstrated her real up-and-down season so far with a significantly improved performance today to beat the dangerous Iveta Benesova, 6-3 6-3.  Lisicki was dominant on serve as she saved the only two break points that she faced.  Another player who did not get broken today was Daniela Hantuchova who overcame stiff opposition in the first set before easing past Peng Shuai in a high quality encounter, 7-5 6-2.  In the quarter-finals, Lisicki will meet Agnieszka Radwanska, who she was supposed to play in the first round before Petra Kvitova pulled out.  Hantuchova will play Julia Goerges as she took advantage of Azarenka's withdrawal with a crushing 6-2 6-0 win over Casey Dellacqua.

Dubai QF Predictions:
Daniela Hantuchova to beat Julia Goerges in 2 sets - Hantuchova struggled in round one, but was excellent today and I will stick by my original tip for the final.
Caroline Wozniacki to beat Ana Ivanovic in 2 sets - An interesting match, but Ivanovic has failed to rise to the occasion this year against higher ranked opponents... I think the Dane will be too solid.
Sam Stosur to beat Jelena Jankovic in 3 sets - Dubai always brings out the best of Jankovic and she beat Stosur in a three set epic last year... another tight match i'm sure, but Stosur is vastly improved from a year ago.  I like both players but a win here would mean so much for JJ's confidence...
Sabine Lisicki to beat Agnieszka Radwanska in 3 sets - Lisicki beat Radwanska in their previous encounter in Stanford last year and I sense if Lisicki goes for her shots and attacks the weary looking second serve from Radwanska, this match is hers for the taking...

No comments:

Post a Comment