Sunday, 16 September 2012

WTA Seoul: Preview and Predictions

I have some free time on my hands so here is my preview of this weeks WTA event in Seoul :-)

Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed in Seoul and she is still searching for her first title in what has been a disappointing 2012.  Wozniacki has shown glimpses of improvements within her game and was playing well in New Haven before a knee injury forced her to pull out of her semi-final match with Maria Kirilenko.  The injury was a big factor in a first round loss at the US Open to last week's Tashkent champion, Irina-Camelia Begu.  The Dane will look to regroup this week and opens up against Arantxa Rus in round one.  Her projected quarter-final opponent is Klara Zakopalova, who had a storming summer, but has since struggled for form losing her last five matches on tour.  She plays Garbine Muguruza in the first round before a match-up with either Magdalena Rybarikova or Kimiko Date Krumm awaits.

Caroline Wozniacki

The second quarter-final could see an all Russian affair with Nadia Petrova and Ekaterina Makarova projected to meet at this stage.  Makarova will play Polona Hercog, meanwhile Petrova takes on the clay court expert, Lourdes Dominguez Lino; both should make the quarters without too many issues.  Julia Goerges and Kaia Kanepi are the two highest seeds in the third quarter.  Kanepi makes her first appearance on the tour since the French Open.  The Estonian always seems to be hit by injury as she is starting to move up the rankings.  I do not expect her to go deep in the draw as she will no doubt be rusty and because she is the kind of player who needs matches under her belt to make an impression.  Goerges has looked incredibly irratic recently, so I do not hold much hope for her in Seoul.

Ekaterina Makarova
Maria Kirilenko is the number two seed and will look to continue her excellent year.  She suffered a disappointing third round exit at the US to Andrea Hlavackova and will look to bounce back in Seoul.  She takes on the Korean player Lee, So-Ra in round one before meeting either Tamira Paszek or Carla Suarez Navarro in the most interesting of the first-rounders.  Varvara Lepchenko is Kirilenko's projected seed in the quarter-finals.

Final Prediction - Caroline Wozniacki d. Varvara Lepchenko
I think Wozniacki has made the right choice playing this tournament in Seoul as with a lower calibre of field, she has the chances to rack up the wins and more importantly, her confidence.  She is the type of player who loves to play lots and lots of matches and although many criticised her schedule when she was world number one, she needs to get back to winning ways.  I fancy the consistent American, Varvara Lepchenko to reach the final.

There is also a tournament this week in Guangzhou, China, which features Marion Bartoli, Zheng Jie, Peng Shuai and Sorana Cirstea.  Laura Robson also plays her first match since her excellent run at the US Open and could play the second seed Zheng in round two.

You can view my full predictions for Seoul and Guangzhou

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