Sunday, 11 March 2012

Wozniacki & Sharapova cruise in Indian Wells

Caroline Wozniacki
Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki were the top two seeds in action on Day 4 of the BNP Paribas Open and they showed that they meant business as both reached the third round with comprehensive victories.  Caroline Wozniacki defeated Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2 6-0 and broke the Russian player's serve on seven occasions as Makarova failed to hold serve once during the 69 minute contest.  Makarova caused quite a stir at the Australian Open when she beat Serena Williams and I think some may have anticipated an upset last night.  If you look at her form over the last couple of years you will notice that Makarova is a very streaky player by nature. Personally, I cannot see her having enough consistency in her game to break the top 30.  Maria Sharapova won by the same scoreline as Wozniacki as she destroyed Gisela Dulko for the second time this year.  Sharapova will play Simona Halep in the third round as she caused a mini-upset to defeat Petra Cetkovska, 6-2 6-4.

The biggest upset of the day was produced by Lourdes Dominguez Lino who eased past a worryingly out-of-form, Sabine Lisicki, 6-1 6-4.  Lisicki is really struggling for form right now and will need to pick her game up before the grass court season where she is defending a large amount of ranking points.  Three other seeds fell by the wayside on day 4... I was not surprised to see Peng Shuai beaten, but the scoreline was a shock as Ksenia Pervak routed the Chinese number 17 seed, 6-4 6-0.  Pervak has been steadily improving and her solid game is starting to build up some consistent wins on the tour.  However I feel she doesn't have a big enough game to trouble the top seeds.  

Francesca Schiavone
Kaia Kanepi was also defeated in her first appearance since the Australian Open.  She was beaten by Chanelle Scheepers, 6-3 6-2 who should have won by an even more dominating scoreline had she improved her break point conversion, which was at 6/19 for the match. Monica Niculescu was knocked out of Indian Wells by the recent Memphis champion, Sofia Arvidsson, 6-3 6-3.

In other matches, Marion Bartoli suffered an almighty scare as she recovered from a 5-2 third set deficit to beat Varvara Lepchenko, 2-6 6-2 7-5.  Lepchenko reminds of Aleksandra Wozniak as both are playing very good tennis at the moment but do not seem capable of getting across the finishing line in tight matches. All the other seeds had no problems; Sam Stosur routed Irina Falconi, 6-0 6-3, Ana Ivanovic cruised past Johanna Larsson, 6-1 6-2 despite wasting 13 break points and Francesca Schiavone recorded her first main draw victory since the Australian Open first round as she defeated Lesia Tsurenko, 6-2 6-4.

The biggest upset of the tournament came in the men's draw where Andy Murray was soundly beaten by a terrific Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-4 6-2.  Murray was not at the races as he wasted numerous opportunities to gain a foothold in the match.  Richard Gasquet showed that it is not just the women who are choking this week as he failed to serve out his second round match against Albert Ramos, eventually losing 3-6 7-5 6-1.  Ryan Harrison did manage to beat the number 25 seed, Viktor Troicki as I had suggested a few days ago.  Troicki joined Kei Nishikori, Florian Mayer and Julien Benneteau on the list of seeded casualties.

You can view my predictions for the WTA draw and ATP draw at Indian Wells.  I had a pretty good day yesterday :-)

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