Sunday, 11 March 2012

Indian Wells 3rd round preview & predictions

32 players remain in the WTA draw for Indian Wells with the first eight of the third round matches taking place tonight.  Here are my previews and predictions...

Victoria Azarenka v Svetlana Kuznetsova - Azarenka started her Indian Wells campaign in less than convincing fashion against Mona Barthel; however a win is a win and it is bound to have increased her confidence that she can get through when she is well below her best.  Kuznetsova always remains a threat and has all the shots, but has become a bit of a headcase recently with her inability to close out matches.  This looks a potentially close match on paper, but I think Azarenka will win this surprisingly easily.
Prediction - Azarenka in 2 sets

Anabel Medina Garrigues v Julia Goerges - Goerges was in supreme form in her second round match against Elena Baltacha not facing a break point throughout.  Medina Garrigues is very consistent from the baseline, but if Goerges is playing well then she will have too much power for the Spaniard.  Recent form would suggest the German is ready to take her career to the next level...
Prediction - Goerges in 2 sets

Jamie Hampton v Jarmila Gajdosova - This match presents a great opportunity for up-and-coming Hampton or woefully out-of-form Gajdosova to make the 4th round.  Hampton has had some excellent wins this week over Polona Hercog and Jelena Jankovic.  Gajdosova is one of the most powerful players on tour and can hit winners for fun, but she has been having a terrible time on tour recently with her inconsistencies.  The win over Wickmayer in the last round would suggest she has what it takes to get through this battle.
Prediction - Gajdosova in 3 sets

Flavia Pennetta v Agnieszka Radwanska - Radwanska has continued in 2012 where she left off from in 2011 with some consistent performances so far this season.  Pennetta has been in-and-out but remains a dangerous player at her best.  Radwanska won their last encounter in Beijing, 6-2 6-4 and I would be surprised if the Italian can get past the crafty Pole in the late night match on Stadium 1 tonight.
Prediction - Radwanska in 2 sets

Petra Kvitova v Christina McHale - Kvitova played very well in her last match against Barbara Zahlavova Strycova and is looking more and more consistent in her play.  This will be an interesting match and a real test for the young American.  McHale has been winning consistently against lower ranked opponents but can frequently get blown off the court against higher ranked opponents.  I was impressed with Petra in round two so I am predicting she will be victorious today.
Prediction - Kvitova in 2 sets

Angelique Kerber v Vania King - Kerber hung onto her place in the draw by the skin of the teeth when she saved two match points in her second round match with Sloane Stephens.  Vania King beat Pavlyuchenkova in the last round and is looking more and more assured on the tour.  This will be a close match, but Kerber is playing with a new found desire that she can win at all costs so I think she will prevail in the end.
Prediction - Kerber in 3 sets

Vera Zvonareva v Klara Zakopalova - Zvonareva has not found her range in 2012 and has been remarkably inconsistent so far.  She has a great chance here to get some wins under her belt if she can get through today's encounter and stay calm on court.  Zakopalova is a streaky player who can hit big, but frequently struggles on serve.  This should be a much needed win for the former Indian Wells Champion.
Prediction - Zvonareva in 2 sets

Li Na v Zheng Jie - The last match is the one that intrigues me the most.  Li won her first match in this Indian Wells/Miami swing in several years with a hard fought win over Galina Voskoboeva two days ago.  Zheng had been on a bad run of form but looked back to her best with a comprehensive victory over Michaella Krajicek in the last round.  This is the only match where i'm straying from my original prediction and i'm going for Jie to win a topsy-turvy encounter...
Prediction - Zheng in 3 sets

Do you agree with my predictions? Please feel free to discuss your predictions for today's matches :-)

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