Friday, 4 January 2013

WTA Brisbane, Auckland: Finals Predictions

The first titles are up for grabs tomorrow in the three WTA tournaments.  Here are my predictions...

WTA Brisbane Final - Serena Williams v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
I was sat at work this morning staring at the live scoreboard wondering why the Serena Azarenka hadn't started yet... a quick trip over to Twitter explained that Victoria Azarenka had pulled out... because of a bad pedicure?! An interesting withdrawal, but whatever you make of it, a disappointing anticlimax to what was built up as a big match.  Serena Williams progressed to the final with the walkover where she will take on Anastasia Pavluychenkova, who started her semi-final in 2012 form, but finished it in 2013 form with a 4-6 6-1 6-2 win over Lesia Tsurenko

It was probably Pavlyuchenkova's poorest performance of the week, but the fact she worked it out in the end made it the sweetest win.  I am still tipping Serena for the title and I am expecting a similar match to that of her quarter-final win with Sloane Stephens.  Pavlyuchenkova certainly has some weapons that an off-colour Serena would struggle to deal with, but ultimately I do not think her serve will be strong enough when up against the world number three.

Prediction - Serena Williams to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 2 tight sets

WTA Auckland Final - Agnieszka Radwanska v Yanina Wickmayer
The Auckland final will see the number one seed take on the number three seed.  Agnieszka Radwanska won a rollercoaster semi-final with Jamie Hampton, 7-6 7-6 with enough twists and turns to make you feel dizzy.  Yanina Wickmayer edged past Mona Barthel in a third set tiebreak having been swiped aside in the second set.  Barthel has the game, but lacks the composure and winning mentality in tough situations.  Her next step is to employ a coach! Wickmayer has made a real resurgence this week following a disappointing 2012 and her main goal will be to stay fit and healthy this year.  Radwanska was not at her best today, but I think she will get the job done tomorrow and win her 11th WTA title.

Prediction - Agnieszka Radwanska to beat Yanina Wickmayer in 2 tight sets
WTA Shenzhen Final Prediction
Li Na to beat Klara Zakopalova in 2 sets

ATP Doha Final Prediction:
Nikolay Davydenko to beat Richard Gasquet in 3 sets

ATP Brisbane Semi-Final Predictions:
I originally went for Andy Murray to win the title, but he will have to pull up his socks against Kei Nishikori who I fancy to sneak that one.  The second semi-final should be a fun match between Marcos Baghdatis and Grigor Dimitrov; the Bulgarian has been really excellent this week and should make the final.

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