Wednesday, 3 October 2012

WTA Beijing: 3rd Round Predictions Part 2

Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki v Angelique Kerber 
Caroline Wozniacki has had to fight for her life to make the third round having won two gruelling three setters against Chanelle Scheepers and Hsieh Su-Wei.  Against Hsieh, she was a set and a double break down, but her fighting instincts came to the forefront as she came through, 6-7 7-6 6-0.  Angelique Kerber has completely flown under the radar these past two weeks as she has disposed of all her opponents in extremely clinical fashion.  Yesterday she beat Lara Arrubarrena Vecino, 6-2 6-0.  Wozniacki and Kerber have played twice this year and Kerber won both of those matches; most notably she trounced Wozniacki, 6-1 6-2 in Stuttgart in one of the most spectacular performances of the year so far.  Wozniacki is playing much better since their last encounter, but I still fancy Kerber to be too strong...
Prediction - Kerber to beat Wozniacki in 2 tight sets

Li Na v Peng Shuai
Unlike last year when all the Chinese players exited the competition early, the home crowd are guaranteed one Chinese player in the quarter-finals.  Li Na was at her clinical best as she disposed of the Tokyo champion, Nadia Petrova, 6-1 6-2.  Peng Shuai has struggled for form this year as her season has been constantly disrupted by niggling injury problems.  This week, she has performed well to beat the out-of-form Yanina Wickmayer and then toughed out a tight three-setter against Yaroslava Shvedova.  Li leads the head-to-head by 3 wins to 1, but Peng won their last encounter in 2011 at Indian Wells.  Their fortunes have reversed since that last match-up and I think Li will saunter into the quarters...
Prediction - Li to beat Peng in 2 sets

Best of the rest:
Victoria Azarenka was below her best in her second round win against Sabine Lisicki but was comfortable enough with a 6-4 6-2 victory.  She takes on Elena Vesnina in the round of 16.  The number two seed, Maria Sharapova faces the Slovenian, Polona Hercog who produced an almighty third set comeback from 5-1 down to defeat Ekaterina Makarova in the second round, 7-6 3-6 7-6.  Sharapova and Hercog have never played each other before.

Victoria Azarenka to beat Elena Vesnina in 2 sets
Maria Sharapova to beat Polona Hercog in 2 sets

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