Wednesday, 13 February 2013

WTA Doha: 3rd Round Predictions

Caroline Wozniacki
1. Caroline Wozniacki v Mona Barthel
Caroline Wozniacki will face her biggest challenge in Doha yet as she takes on the in-form, Mona Barthel.  Wozniacki saved four set points in the first set of her second round match with Sorana Cirstea before strolling through the second to win, 7-6(7) 6-0.  It was a solid effort from Wozniacki, who produced some neat passes against her Romanian opponent.  Barthel knocked out Angelique Kerber, 6-1 6-2, the highest seed to fall so far in Doha.  Barthel has managed to attain three top 10 wins this year and she will have her sights on number four in 2013.  Wozniacki is likely to pose much more of a test than Kerber and she has also beaten Barthel on two previous occasions.  This match will come down solely to Barthel and she will have to serve well, be patient in the rallies and execute the right shot at the right time.  Barthel's on a great run at the moment so its hard to look against her continuing the winning streak...

Prediction - Barthel to beat Wozniacki in 3 sets

Nadia Petrova
2. Petra Kvitova v Nadia Petrova
Two of 2013's out-of-form players will go head-to-head for a lucrative spot in the final eight of Doha.  Petra Kvitova progressed past Ekaterina Makarova, who retired due to illness after losing the first set, 6-4.  She now plays Nadia Petrova who doubled her win tally for this year as she showed some rare battling qualities to come from a set down to beat Hsieh Su-Wei, 3-6 6-2 6-4.  The winner of this match is likely to come up against Serena Williams in the quarter-finals and both of these players have big enough games to actually trouble Serena on a good day.  Kvitova has won her only previous encounter with Petrova, which came on the fast courts of Brisbane in a tight two setter.  I think this could be a pretty ugly match, but I will stick by my original prediction of Kvitova making the quarters.

Prediction - Kvitova to beat Petrova in 3 sets

3. Victoria Azarenka v Christina McHale
Victoria Azarenka
Christina McHale enjoyed her best win of 2013 so far against Lucie Safarova, 6-4 6-2.  Safarova is very irratic these days and it is likely she was affected by the blustery condtions, but it was still a very promising result for the young American.  McHale now takes on the world number one, Victoria Azarenka in the round of 16.  Azarenka looked in a spot of bother as she trailed Romina Oprandi, 0-2 30-40 in the first set, but she quickly turned her game on and was not troubled again in a 6-2 6-3 win.  Azarenka's only previous match with McHale resulted in a win for the American back in 2010 as Azarenka was forced to retire when leading 6-2 2-2.  This will be a good test for McHale, someone capable of a big upset, but on this occasion I think Azarenka will prevail in comfortable fashion.

Prediction - Azarenka to beat McHale in 2 sets

Best of the rest: 3rd round predictions
Sara Errani to beat Daniela Hantuchova in 3 sets
Agnieszka Radwanska to beat Ana Ivanovic in 2 sets
Svetlana Kuznetsova to beat Sam Stosur in 2 tight sets
Maria Sharapova to beat Klara Zakopalova in 2 sets
Serena Williams to beat Urszula Radwanska in 2 sets


  1. I think Woz has a chance to win a match against Mona. Mona was very good against Angie but it wasn't her best performance and Caro's been really solid in today's match.

    I really wish that Ana broke the sad trend of not being able to win against a top player. Before their last match at the AO I thought Aga was the best match for her to get the win. Now not so sure...

  2. Thanks for your comment, Marine.

    I think Wozniacki/Barthel is a tough one to call. Wozniacki is the type of player who could really frustrate Barthel with her consistency, but I still fancy Mona to edge it based on her recent form.

    I just cannot see Ivanovic being patient enough to break down Radwanska after watching their AO match. It would have to be a really great performance from Ivanovic and I don't see that happening tomorrow.

  3. Even though Kvitova has played well this year she hasn't performed as well as she has in the past months, especially when she had good form in 2012. Petrova has played well as the underdog and as the favourite too, winning both of her matches when priced as the underdog. Both players have had a sketchy run of form on this surface (Hard), Kvitova being beat by some routine players she should have defeated herself including Robson, Cibulkova and Pavlyuchenkova.