Sunday, 30 December 2012

WTA Auckland: Preview and Predictions

The entire WTA top 10 will kick off their season this week with Agnieszka Radwanska headlining the event in Auckland and Li Na topping the bill in Shenzhen.  Lets take a look at the draws...

WTA Auckland:
Agnieszka Radwanska will play a qualifier in the first round and is projected to meet Yaroslava Shvedova in the quarter-finals.  The world number three has opted to stay away from the big guns in Brisbane, which is a wise choice in terms of gaining ranking points.  She is my unsurprising pick to win in Auckland.  The reigning champion, Zheng Jie is in the second quarter and is seeded to meet Sorana Cirstea in the quarter-finals.  Cirstea takes on the rising Brit, Heather Watson in the first roundSvetlana Kuznetsova, who is making her first appearance since Wimbledon, is in this section too and could play Cirstea/Watson in the second round if she can make it past Kiki Bertens in her first match.

Christina McHale and Yanina Wickmayer headline the third section of the drawWickmayer has always done well at this event, having won in 2010 and reaching the final in 2011; however I do not have her going deep in the draw following her recent struggles with injuries.  McHale's 2012 season was cut short through illness and I think it will take her sometime to find her feet in 2013... my tip is for the unseeded Kirsten Flipkens to go deep in the draw.  The final quarter-final is likely to be an all-German affair between Julia Goerges and Mona Barthel and both should be largely untroubled in the early stages.
Final Prediction - Agnieszka Radwanska d. Mona Barthel
1st Round Predictions - Vesnina to beat Bouchard in 3 sets, Zheng to beat Hampton in 3 sets, Watson to beat Cirstea in 2 sets and Rybarikova to beat Wickmayer in 2 tight sets

View my full predictions for Auckland HERE

WTA Shenzhen:
I see absolutely no point in this new tournament in Shenzhen gracing an already packed first week.  The overall quality of the draw is disappointing and Li Na should have no problems in becoming the first ever champion in Shenzhen.  Li takes on Mandy Minella in the first round and should meet Bojana Jovanovski in the quarter-finals.  In fact, the highest seed Li could face before the final is the world number 25, Hsieh Su-Wei.  

Hsieh had a stunning 2012 and I think she will continue to be solid in 2013 with her unique game.  The bottom half is dominated by Marion Bartoli and Jelena Jankovic; Bartoli could come unstuck against the young and talented Timea Babos in round two, meanwhile Jankovic may have to contest with Laura Robson in the quarter-finals, who has already made it into the second round where she will take on Monica Niculescu. 

Final Prediction - Li Na d. Jelena Jankovic

1st Round Predictions - Jovanovski to beat Cadantu in 2 sets, Hlavackova to beat Zakopalova in 3 sets and Svitolina to beat Peer in 3 sets

View my full predictions for Shenzhen HERE


  1. Exact same on the Shenzehn, It should only be Auckland, Brisbane and Perth (Hopman Cup)

  2. I think on the Auckland is the same but in Shenzehn could be and I'm sure is Li Na defeating Marion Bartoli, she will re enter to the top ten and Wozniacki will be out!!