Thursday, 1 March 2012

Del Potro defeats Tsonga, Federer next in Dubai

Juan Martin Del Potro
Juan Martin Del Potro's 2012 has really started to shine in recent weeks and things continued to come together for the Argentine on Thursday as he defeated a disappointing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-6 6-2 to progress to the semi-finals of Dubai.   Tsonga has failed to bring his best tennis in 2012 and had no answers against a weary Del Potro, who has had a taxing schedule having reached finals in Rotterdam and Marseille in previous weeks.  Del Potro will get another shot at Roger Federer on Friday although I expect the same result from their last encounter in the Rotterdam final albeit slightly closer than the 6-1 6-4 scoreline in that match.   The second semi-final will be a repeat of the Australian Open semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.  Djokovic overcame Janko Tipsarevic, 6-1 7-6 and Murray beat Tomas Berdych, 6-3 7-5 to set up an enticing semi-final.  It was a bad day for my Dubai predictions as you will see here!

In the WTA event in Kuala Lumpur, Agnieszka Radwanska won two matches to reach the quarter-finals.  Radwanska finished off a first round match with Akgul Amanmuradova before defeating Karolina Pliskova, 6-4 6-4.  Radwanska recovered from a 4-1 deficit in the first set and required just one break in the second set to reach the quarter-finals.  The top half has been rather decimated with Jelena Dokic and Jarmila Gajdosova both exiting the competition at the second round stage.  The bottom half remains intact with all four seeds progressing to the quarter-finals, which will see Peng Shuai play Petra Martic and Jelena Jankovic take on Ayumi Morita.  Peng and Martic have both had two three-set matches this week and I think tomorrow's quarter will be another three setter with Peng prevailing.  Morita, who won her first WTA main draw match of 2012 on Tuesday, will have a tough test against Jankovic who had a 6-2 6-0 second round win over Jill Craybas.  This was much more comfortable than her first round match where she saved three match points.  My predictions for Kuala Lumpur can be found here.

Dubai PredictionsFederer to beat Del Potro in 2 sets and Djokovic to beat Murray in 3 sets

Kuala Lumpur Predictions: Radwanska to beat Hsieh in 2 sets, Daniilidou to beat Rogowska in 3 sets, Peng to beat Martic in 2 sets and Jankovic to beat Morita in 2 sets.

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