Thursday, 14 February 2013

WTA Doha: Quarter-Final Predictions

Petra Kvitova
1. Serena Williams v Petra Kvitova
One of the match-ups that I want to see more from on the WTA tour is that between Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova, which Doha has delightfully dished up.  Serena cruised past Urszula Radwanska for the loss of just three games, meanwhile Kvitova was forced to grit her teeth in her best win of 2013 so far against Nadia Petrova.  Kvitova recovered from breaks down in the second and third sets to post an encouraging 4-6 6-4 6-3 third round win.  The last two times that Serena and Petra played was on the grass so it will be nice to see a hard court encounter.  A peak-Petra would be absolute dynamite, but I think we all know thats is unlikely to happen tomorrow.  Kvitova is improving, but I think Serena will be a step too far especially with Petra not getting enough out of her serve right now.

Prediction - Serena Williams to beat Petra Kvitova in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

2. Agnieszka Radwanska v Caroline Wozniacki
BFF's, Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki will go head-to-head tomorrow for a place in the Doha semi-finals.  Wozniacki is the only player outside of the top eight to muster her way into the quarter-finals.  Wozniacki followed up her win over Sorana Cirstea with a 7-6(6) 6-3 victory over Mona Barthel.  Wozniacki did very well against Barthel, winning the crucial points and returning particularly well.  Her opponent in the quarter-finals, Radwanska, defeated Ana Ivanovic for the second time this year, 6-1 7-6(6).  Ivanovic did have an opportunity to serve out the second set, but wilted under the pressure.  Wozniacki leads the head-to-head 5-3, but that fails to recognise the changing of the guard in this match-up as Radwanska has won their last two matches.  Wozniacki is playing well, but I still fancy Radwanska to be more solid.

Prediction - Agnieszka Radwanska to beat Caroline Wozniacki in 3 sets

3. Sam Stosur v Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova
Hats off to Sam Stosur this week who has won two tricky matches and made the quarter-finals in Doha.  I wrote her off immediately following her dreadful start to 2013 including her Fed Cup exploits, which saw her blow leads in both of her weekend matches.  She has rallied this week to beat Monica Niculescu and most notably, Svetlana Kuznetsova in a tight two setter today.  Maria Sharapova poses the next challenge, which will bring up unhappy memories from their last match when Sharapova thumped the Aussie, 6-0 6-3 in Istanbul.  Sharapova has had two relatively routine matches in Doha with straight set wins over Caroline Garcia and Klara Zakopalova.  I am very happy to see Stosur's fortunes have an upturn this week, but I do not think she can trouble Sharapova.

Prediction - Maria Sharapova to beat Sam Stosur in 2 sets

4. Victoria Azarenka v Sara Errani
Victoria Azarenka had the most straightforward of Thursday's as she dismissed Christina McHale to the bakery for a double bagel, 6-0 6-0 win.  Sara Errani could not have had a more different match as she fought for over 2 and a half hours in the longest third round match of the day with Daniela Hantuchova and recorded an impressive 7-5 5-7 6-2 win, fighting back from 2-1 down in the final set to win five straight games.  Errani had lost to Hantuchova in Brisbane so this was a good reversal for the Italian.  Azarenka's crushing of McHale rings some ominous bells for Errani, who is likely to have the same problem in having no weapons to hurt Vika.  Their last two matches, both on the clay, resulted in Azarenka losing just three games and Errani will be fortunate to match that tally tomorrow.

Prediction - Victoria Azarenka to beat Sara Errani in 2 sets

I would love to post predictions for the ATP matches but I have caught the lurgy so back to bed for me ;-)

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