Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WTA YEC Istanbul: Day 3 Predictions

Angelique Kerber
1. Angelique Kerber v Li Na
Angelique Kerber is essentially out of the tournament after coming up short in a truly outstanding duel with Victoria Azarenka that lasted 3 hours and 6 minutes, 6-7 7-6 6-4.  Kerber had two match points, but Azarenka brought her A-game at the crucial stages of the match to stay alive.  For anyone to call Kerber's tennis boring... just watch that match.  She also served the best I have ever seen at times, hitting 8 aces throughout the contest.  Li's match could not have been any different as she fell 7-6 6-3 to Serena Williams in an error-strewn affair.  

Kerber and Li have played several times this year; Kerber won their first match in Indian Wells, but Li rebounded with wins in Madrid and Cincy.  Their most recent encounter was particularly significant as Li came from a set and a break down to beat Kerber with some inspired tennis at the end to claim the Cincy title.  Originally I went for Li, but Kerber was extremely impressive against Azarenka and although tiredness may be a factor, if Li dishes up the same kind of errors she did against Serena then Kerber will win this comfortably...

Prediction - Kerber to beat Li in 2 sets

Victoria Azarenka
2. Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka
The most anticipated round robin match will grace the court tomorrow as Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka do battle.  Serena has been anything but impressive so far although she tops the group with two straight set wins.  She beat Li Na, 7-6 6-3 in a dire match and was once again, highly emotional on the court.  Azarenka was also fiery on court as she had to fight for over three hours to get past a fantastic, Angelique Kerber.  The question will be how she recovers from that epic encounter.  Serena holds a tight grip over the head-to-head although their last match at the US Open has certainly wetted the appetite as Vika came within a whisker of claiming the title, eventually going down 6-2 2-6 7-5.  Both players were not at their best today, but I think Azarenka will use her stunning comeback today to spur her onto a big, big victory tomorrow.

Prediction - Azarenka to beat Serena in 3 sets

Sam Stosur
3. Sam Stosur v Sara Errani
Sam Stosur steps into action tomorrow following Petra Kvitova's withdrawal from the tournament; Kvitova revealed on Facebook that she was suffering from bronchitis and it is a real shame to see her pull out :-(  This opens the door for Stosur who takes on Sara Errani in her first match.  Errani gave a solid account of herself in her first match against Maria Sharapova, where she lost 6-3 6-2.  Stosur will be looking for revenge in this one having suffered a surprising loss in the semi-finals of the French Open to Errani.  Stosur had won their five previous encounters, which made that result all the more surprising.  I think Sam will be eager for revenge and want to take full advantage of the opportunity she has been given here...
Prediction - Stosur to beat Errani in 2 tight sets

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