Sunday, 29 April 2012

WTA Estoril: Preview and Predictions

There are a host of tournaments being played on the WTA and ATP circuits next week but I will be mainly focusing on the women's event in Estoril.  Let's take a look at the draw:

First half
Nadia Petrova
Roberta Vinci is the number one seed and will play Nina Bratchikova in the first round.  Vinci had a stellar season on clay last year, claiming two titles in Barcelona and Budapest.  Vinci lost her only previous encounter with Bratchikova in Monterrey this year but I predict she will win this time round.  Her projected quarter-final opponent is Nadia Petrova, who has had a topsy-turvy 2012 so far.  After a woeful start to the year, she demonstrated some good form with a win over Sam Stosur in Indian Wells, but has since struggled for consistency.  She could face Jarmila Gajdosova in the second round, who produced a rare highlight in Fed Cup action last week by beating Julia Goerges on the clay.

Kaia Kanepi and Petra Cetkovska are projected to meet in the second quarter-final in Estoril.  Cetkovska, who reached the quarter-finals in Fes last week, will play Alexandra Panova in the first round.  Kanepi will play a qualifier in the first round before a second round match with either Vania King or Johanna Larsson.  Larsson has had some success on the clay in the past, including a good run at Estoril last year, but the biggest threat to the seeds is likely to be Vania King.  The American has become a consistently reliable performer in recent months although several weeks off through injury may hold her back this week...

Quarter-final Predictions:
Roberta Vinci d. Jarmila Gajdosova
Kaia Kanepi d. Petra Cetkovska

Second half
Zheng Jie
Anabel Medina Garrigues is the number three seed and opens up her title defence against a qualifier.  In the second round she will play Sorana Cirstea or Silvia Soler Espinosa.   Mona Barthel would have been her projected quarter-final opponent but as she has now withdrawn, Polona Hercog has taken her place in the draw.  Hercog will play Tamira Paszek in the first round and will be a tough opponent for Medina Garrigues if they both make the quarter-finals with both having enjoyed success on the clay in the past.

The number two seed, Maria Kirilenko will play Elena Baltacha in the first round and her projected quarter-final opponent is Zheng Jie.  Zheng has the most intriguing of the first round matches as she will take on Ekaterina Makarova, who reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and the 4th round in Miami.  This is a very difficult match to call with both showing some excellent form in 2012, but I would predict Zheng to win in 3 sets

Quarter-final Predictions: 
Anabel Medina Garrigues d. Polona Hercog
Maria Kirilenko d. Zheng Jie

Final Prediction: Anabel Medina Garrigues d. Kaia Kanepi

Full predictions for WTA Estoril can be found here.

You can view all my draw predictions for this week by clicking on the links below:
ATP Estoril - I think this draw will go with the formbook and Juan Martin Del Potro will score his second consecutive title in Estoril.
WTA Budapest - I have gone for Sara Errani, who looks like the standout winner from this draw.  Literally anyone could make the final on the other half of the draw...
ATP Munich - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the top seed, but i'm still not convinced by his form this year yet alone on the clay so I have gone for a surprise champion in Philipp Kohlschreiber.

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