Saturday, 29 December 2012

WTA Brisbane: Preview and Predictions

Victoria Azarenka
The engines of the WTA are revving as the first draws have been released following a state of hibernation that has stretched back to the 4th of November when Nadia Petrova won the final competitive match of 2012 in Sofia.  It is now time for the stars of the game to shake off the cobwebs and get their racquets ready for the start of 2013.  The new tennis season will begin with a bang as eight of the top ten open their seasons down under in Brisbane.

Analysis of the draw:
The top two in the world, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova have byes into the second round and have drawn entirely different draws.  Azarenka has by far the toughest and will have to hit the ground running when she takes on either Lucie Safarova or Sabine Lisicki in her first match of 2013.  The Safarova/Lisicki match is the most intriguing of the first rounders with both being extremely unpredictable.  I am backing Safarova to win, who impressed at the end of 2012 with her Fed Cup routs of Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.  Azarenka could meet Caroline Wozniacki in the last eight, in what would be a first match-up since 2011.  The Dane will first have to get past good friend, Urszula Radwanska or Tamira Paszek, who beat her in their last match-up at Wimbledon, which was my favourite match of 2012.

Sharapova has the "cakewalk" draw with an Italian duo set to greet her in Brisbane.  She is likely to meet Roberta Vinci in the second round (2-0 head-to-head) and then the number 6 seed, Sara Errani in the quarter-finals (2-0 head-to-head).  Errani could play Daniela Hantuchova in the second round; the Slovakian player, who reached the Brisbane final last year, could have the edge over Errani on this quick surface.  

Serena Williams will open her 2013 campaign against fellow American, Varvara Lepchenko.  Her draw is straightforward allowing time for the early season rust to be shaken off.  Serena's projected quarter-final opponent is Sam Stosur, who I have marked down as my early casualty; she takes on Sofia Arvidsson, who is particularly dangerous on fast court surfaces.  I would also watch out for the first round match between Sloane Stephens and Dominika Cibulkova, which should be very close.

Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova are destined to clash in the final quarter-final.  Kerber should have no difficulty in making the quarter-finals as she takes on Anna Tatishvili in the first round.  Kvitova has some potential banana skins to avoid; Carla Suarez Navarro will await in the first round, who gave Kvitova a scare in their second round match at the Australian Open last year.  Kvitova's second match, if she is prevail, would be against Lucie Hradecka or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, both extremely competent on their day.

QF Predictions:
Azarenka vs. Wozniacki
S.Williams vs. Arvidsson
Kvitova vs. Kerber
Hantuchova vs. Sharapova

Final Prediction - Maria Sharapova d. Victoria Azarenka
The first tournament of the season is always very difficult to call; for example, I do not think many people would have backed Kaia Kanepi to win Brisbane last year.  Serena will have some significant rust to shake off following minor surgery on her toes and I think she will fall in the semi-finals to Azarenka.  My two favourites for the title are Sharapova and Kvitova, who I think will meet in the semi-finals.  I fancied Kvitova from the start, but she has a tough draw and there is still some uncertainty in her form so that is why I have gone for Sharapova to win.

You can view my full predictions for Brisbane HERE

Moo's Tennis Blog is officially up and running now for the 2013 tennis season! Further previews will follow tomorrow :-)


  1. My predctition
    W: Williams
    RU: Sharapova
    SF: Azarenka / Kvitova
    QF: Wozniacki / Cibulkova / Tatishvili / Hantuchova

  2. Thanks for your comment, interesting predictions!

  3. My predictions:

    W: Sharapova
    RU: Williams
    Semis: Kerber/Azarenka
    QF: Errani/Stosur/Wozniacki/Kvitova

    Sharapova has been working to be the best this season and her tennis is perfect on this surface and better every day