Sunday, 19 August 2012

WTA New Haven: Preview and Predictions

Play is already underway in New Haven and soon to start at the other two tournaments taking place this week in Dallas (WTA) and Winston Salem (ATP) so lets take a quick look at the draws!

WTA New Haven
The New Haven draw has already been hit with two withdrawals (Francesca Schiavone and Nastia Pavlyuchenkova) and could well be hit with more over the coming days.  Agnieszka Radwanska once again tops the draws in her all-out pursuit to get to world number one, which thankfully cannot happen this week.  Petra Kvitova is the number two seed, but I am hoping she will pull out... word on the grapevine is not good as she does anticipate to respect her commitment.

Radwanska's dodgy shoulder certainly does not make her a favourite this week in what is a tough line-up.  She is due to meet Maria Kirilenko in the quarter-finals, who will first have to get past the winner of an intriguing opener between Daniela Hantuchova and Mona BarthelCaroline Wozniacki who has never lost at New Haven would be Radwanska's prospective semi-final opponent; Wozniacki opens up against Ekaterina Makarova and has returning-from-injury Andrea Petkovic (yay!) and Dominika Cibulkova in her section.

A fully fit and fully engaged Petra Kvitova would be able to waltz through this tournament at her best.  Her fellow Czech, Lucie Safarova could await in the quarter-finals and then Marion Bartoli in the semi-finals; Bartoli takes on Laura Robson in the first round, which has potential upset slapped all over it...

Final Prediction - Caroline Wozniacki d. Zheng Jie
First round highlights - Hantuchova/Barthel, Bartoli/Robson, Stephens/Paszek and Pironkova/Zheng
View my full predictions HERE

WTA Dallas
Yaroslava Shvedova
Angelique Kerber headlines the tournament in Dallas this week where she started to turn her career around last year by reaching the semi-finals.  Its finally time for the German to start defending some ranking points although I am hoping she withdraws and rests up for the US Open.  The draw is literally wide open for anyone if Kerber withdraws as the number two seed, Jelena Jankovic faces against in-form, Yaroslava Shvedova in the first round.  I think Shvedova will do very well this week; the only worry is whether her body can survive the hot temperatures in Dallas as she had to retire from Cincy due to heat exhaustion.

Final Prediction - Yaroslava Shvedova d. Peng Shuai
First round highlights - Jankovic/Shvedova, Vinci/Hsieh and Zakopalova/Wozniak
View my full predictions HERE

John Isner
ATP Winston Salem
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga headlines in Winston Salem with Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Alexandr Dolgopolov all in action.  Tsonga faces a tough opening match against either Thomasz Bellucci or Marcos Baghdatis.  I do not fancy him to win this week and would tip John Isner and Marcel Granollers to go far in the top half.

In the bottom half of the draw, Sam Querrey has a very nice draw and should feature in the latter stages of the tournament.  Tomas Berdych has struggled for form during the summer hard court season but should have a chance to play his way into form and get some matches under his belt.

Final Prediction - John Isner d. Sam Querrey
First round highlights - Bellucci/Baghdatis, Goffin/Mahut and Blake/Ramos
View my full predictions HERE

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