Sunday, 11 March 2012

Indian Wells 3rd round preview & predictions - part 2

Here is my preview for the remaining eight third round matches in the WTA draw...

Lucie Safarova
Marion Bartoli v Chanelle Scheepers - Bartoli put in a gutsy display to reach the third round, which has become characteristic of her 2012 season.  I think this match will be much more straightforward for Bartoli as although Scheepers has a solid game, I do not believe she would have the mental strength to pull the win through against a fighter like Bartoli.
Prediction - Bartoli in 2 sets

Lucie Safarova v Francesca Schiavone - Schiavone won her first match since the Australian Open in the last round, but she still failed to impress.  Safarova benefited from a retirement against Tamira Paszek so is yet to be fully tested this week.  The two players are 3-3 in their head-to-head with Safarova winning most recently in Toronto, and I fully expect Safarova to take this one comfortably.
Prediction - Safarova in 2 sets

Ana Ivanovic v Ksenia Pervak - These two last faced off at the US Open last year where Pervak made a bright start before succumbing to defeat.  Pervak has seemingly improved since then but I still do not think she has the weapons to upset Ivanovic.  Ivanovic has looked much more consistent in these kind of match-ups so I expect a test, but ultimately progression to the 4th round for the Serb.
Prediction - Ivanovic in 2 sets

Caroline Wozniacki v Sofia Arvidsson - Arvidsson has really cleaned up her game this past month with winning the title in Memphis at the heart of this rejuvunation; however Wozniacki proved too consistent against Makarova in the last round and I expect another solid display from the Dane to be too much Arvidsson.
Prediction - Wozniacki in 2 sets

Sam Stosur v Nadia Petrova - This has the potential to be a great match if you look back to their last encounter at the US Open, which was a high quality (and lengthy!) encounter, which formed the beginning of Stosur's magic run that led her to the fairytale US Open title.  Petrova's form has been horrendous in 2012 although she did manage a comfortable second round win over Lauren Davis.  Stosur looked sharp two days ago and I think this will be a comparably easier match than the US Open epic.
Prediction - Stosur in 2 sets

Maria Kirilenko v Lourdes Dominguez Lino - Kirilenko has been steadily improving throughout the year after a slow start and I think she has an excellent draw here in Indian Wells.  She played well to pass the tough challenge of Irina-Camelia Begu in the last round and should have enough to get past the clay-court veteran, Dominguez Lino who upset Lisicki in the last round.
Prediction - Kirilenko in 2 sets

Dominika Cibulkova v Roberta Vinci - This is the only match that I am predicting to go the full distance tomorrow! Cibulkova has failed to build on the success of her first title in Moscow at the end of 2011 as she has been largely disappointing throughout this year so far.  However she can often click when things go her way and she managed to pass the first challenge of the week when Magdalena Rybarikova retired due to a stomach illness.  Vinci is a dangerous player and can often trouble one-dimensional opponents... this is why i'm favouring her!
Prediction - Vinci in 3 sets

Simona Halep v Maria Sharapova - Sharapova started the week with a rout of Gisela Dulko and although I expect her to win this match, Halep poses a much more competitive opponent.  Halep has been in good form and will no doubt fight in this match, but she just does not have the game to rival Sharapova's raw power.
Prediction - Sharapova in 2 sets

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