Monday, 1 October 2012

WTA Beijing: 2nd Round Predictions

The Top 3 of 2nd round Beijing matches on Tuesday
1. Li Na v Nadia Petrova
The toughest match of the day is the first match up on the top court between Li Na and the Tokyo Champion, Nadia Petrova.  Li has been handed a tricky draw in Beijing and had to get past Francesca Schiavone in her opening match.  Petrova was handed a bye into the second round following her deep progression into the Tokyo draw where she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in the final.  I have only just noticed that Petrova has a 6-0 winning head-to-head record over Li.  In Li's favour is that they have not played in over four years and in all those encounters, Petrova was the higher ranked player.  This will be a mighty tough match for both but I am going for the Chinese player to break the losing streak and edge into the third round...
Prediction - Li to beat Petrova in 3 tough sets
2. Sam Stosur v Julia Goerges
Sam Stosur has looked in fine form recently having made the quarter-finals at the US Open and then the semi-finals in Tokyo including a win over world number 2, Maria Sharapova.  She did however struggle in her semi-final in Tokyo with an abdominal injury.  She has a tough opening match in Beijing against Julia Goerges.  The German player has been in a barren spell of form, but did manage a gritty, come-from-behind victory in the first round against Vania King, 6-7 7-5 6-2.  Goerges has a good record over Stosur having won two of their three previous encounters including a straight sets win over Stosur on the hard courts of Tokyo.  Despite Goerges's poor form of late, I think she will edge past a struggling Stosur...

Prediction - Goerges to beat Stosur in 2 tight sets
3. Victoria Azarenka v Sabine Lisicki
Victoria Azarenka's participation this week was slightly up in the air following a withdrawal from Tokyo, but she looked in unstoppable form in her 6-1 6-0 win over Alize CornetSabine Lisicki enjoyed her first win on hard courts since Miami in March and her first win anywhere other than Wimbledon since Charleston in April.  She defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-3 5-7 6-2 and is always a danger against the big players as she often brings her A-game to the court; just ask Maria Sharapova, who she stunned in the 4th round of Wimbledon earlier this year.  I am unsure of how this match will pan out; I am still not convinced by Azarenka's health and would not be surprised to see a walkover or a retirement.  However if Azarenka steps onto the court and is playing well then this should be straightforward...

Prediction - Azarenka to beat Lisicki in 2 sets (or a Lisicki win by retirement/walkover!)
Best of the rest:
Jelena Jankovic has a superb chance to claim some big ranking points this week with the loss of Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova from her section of the draw.  She takes on the tricky Monica Niculescu, who reached the semi-finals here last year, but JJ has 4-0 winning record over the Romanian.  Caroline Wozniacki will play another dangerous player in Hsieh Su-Wei 

Agnieszka Radwanska should have no problems against Zhang Shuai, meanwhile Marion Bartoli will be confident of progressing past Ayumi MoritaLaura Robson takes on Lourdes Dominguez Lino with the opportunity of testing herself against world number three, Radwanska if both win tomorrow.  It will be a tough one for Robson as Dominguez Lino generates little pace and likes the moonball, but if she can stay aggressive and relatively consistent, she should be victorious...

Jelena Jankovic

Jankovic to beat Niculescu in 2 sets
Bartoli to beat Morita in 2 sets
Robson to beat Dominguez Lino in 3 sets
Radwanska to beat Zhang in 2 easy sets
Kerber to Arrubarena Vecino in 2 sets
Wozniacki to beat Hsieh in 3 sets

You can view my original predictions for Beijing HERE.  I have also done predictions for the two ATP tournaments this week in Beijing and Tokyo.

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