Monday, 27 August 2012

US Open: 1st Round Predictions for Day 1

The Top 3 on Day 1
Sorana Cirstea
1. Sabine Lisicki v Sorana Cirstea
The match on the womens schedule that gave me the most bother in predicting was the one between Cirstea and Lisicki which is first up on court 13.  Both players are known for their streakiness and this match-up has three sets written all over it.  Cirstea has suffered some shocking losses over the summer hard court season, most notably a 6-0 6-0 loss to Sesil Karatantcheva, but she did manage to make the semi-finals of Stanford and the quarter-finals of Dallas.  Lisicki managed to resurrect her form through Wimbledon but has done nothing of note on the hard courts; in fact she has not won a match since Miami on this surface.  Lisicki also pulled out of Cincy and along with a 0-3 head-to-head deficit to Cirstea, I am edging towards Cirstea...
Prediction - Cirstea to beat Lisicki in 3 sets

2. Sam Stosur v Petra Martic
Sam Stosur opens up her defence of the US Open title right she left off from last year on Arthur Ashe stadium against Petra Martic.  It will be a testing opener for Stosur, who last played Martic in a tight three-set match in Madrid.  Martic has all the weapons in her artillery and appears to like the big stage having taken out home favourite Marion Bartoli at Roland Garros earlier this year.  However Martic has been suffering with injury problems since then and Stosur looked pretty sharp in Cincy so I would expect her to pass the first round without too many problems.
Prediction - Stosur to beat Martic in 2 tight sets

3. Robin Haase v Feliciano Lopez
None of the mens matches really caught my eye for today so I have gone for a slightly more obscure one between Haase and Lopez.  Haase had an incredible match with Andy Murray at last year's US Open where he led by two sets to love before Murray came roaring back.  Haase looked like an exciting prospect at that time, but he struggled throughout the first half of 2012; more recently he has looked more assured winning the title in Kitzbuhel.  Lopez has been in and out this year and has lost his only previous encounter with Haase.  I have earmarked this to be a long match, but I fancy Lopez to edge through to the second round.
Prediction - Lopez to beat Haase in 5 sets

Daniela Hantuchova
Best of the rest: women
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daniela Hantuchova will battle it out on court 13 in an intriguing first round match.  Hantuchova started the season well, but she has struggled to get back on the winning ladder after missing most the clay court season.  Li Na begins her title bid against Heather Watson, meanwhile Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters will open their accounts on Arthur Ashe against Melinda Czink and Victoria Duval respectively.

Pavlyuchenkova to beat Hantuchova in 2 sets
Li to beat Watson in 2 sets
Sharapova to beat Czink in 2 tight sets
Clijsters to beat Duval in 2 sets

Best of the rest: mens
Roger Federer and Andy Murray are both in action today on Arthur Ashe up against Donald Young and Alex Bogomolov Jr. respectively.  Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori and Mardy Fish are also playing today and I expect comfortable wins for all three.  The one surprise could come between Jack Sock and Florian Mayer where I fancy the young American, who won the mixed doubles title with Melanie Oudin last year, to be a dangerous opponent for the wacky German.

Federer to beat Young in 3 sets
Murray to beat Bogomolov in 3 sets
Sock to beat Mayer in 4 sets

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