Sunday, 10 March 2013

WTA Indian Wells: 3rd Round Predictions, Day 5

Maria Sharapova
1. Maria Sharapova v Carla Suarez Navarro
Maria Sharapova began her Indian Wells campaign in typically devastating fashion as she swiped away Francesca Schiavone in a 6-2 6-1 victory on a shiveringly cold Stadium 1.  She now takes on Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round, who was similarly impressive as she defeated fellow Spaniard, Silvia Soler-Espinosa for the second time in two weeks with a 6-1 6-1 win.  Suarez Navarro is playing very well at the moment and she is a pleasure to watch when on her game.  She certainly has the ability to be a giant killer; I remember when she took out Venus Williams at the Australian Open several years ago and now seemingly injury free, she will break the top 20 soon.  On this occasion against Sharapova, you have to favour the Russian to be too powerful...

Prediction - Sharapova to beat Suarez Navarro in 2 tight sets

2. Svetlana Kuznetsova v Marion Bartoli
Svetlana Kuznetsova recovered from a laughable first set bagel dished out by Jelena Jankovic to prevail in what sounded like an entertaining match, 0-6 6-2 7-5.  She will now play Marion Bartoli for the second time this year after the Frenchwomen overcame Chanelle Scheepers, 6-3 6-3 in a solid performance.  It is a rough draw for Bartoli, who has just recently announced that she has taken on Jana Novotna as one of her new coaches.  Kuznetsova won their last match in Doha a few weeks ago with a 6-4 6-4 victory.  I think Bartoli can make it much closer this time and grab a set, but Kuznetsova still has the greater weapons and is playing with more confidence having won some very tight matches this year.

Prediction - Kuznetsova to beat Bartoli in 3 sets

3. Agnieszka Radwanska v Sorana Cirstea
Agnieszka Radwanska strolled through her opening match against Maria Sanchez, but should have a more difficult match in the third round up against Sorana Cirstea.  The Romanian enjoyed an excellent win in the first round against Anabel Medina Garrigues as she found a way past the Spaniard having lost the opening set in a 4-6 6-3 6-1 victory.  Radwanska and Cirstea have played five times before on the WTA tour and Radwanska holds the lead with 3 wins to 2.  Their last match-up was in 2012 at Indian Wells where Radwanska won 6-2 6-4.  I think that Cirstea has been marginally more consistent this year, but she is still a ball basher without little plan B and Radwanska can eat them up for breakfast...

Prediction - Radwanska to beat Cirstea in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

Best of the rest: 3rd round womens predictions
Petra Kvitova to beat Lesia Tsurenko in 2 sets
Klara Zakopalova to beat Dominika Cibulkova in 3 close sets
Maria Kirilenko to beat Mallory Burdette in 2 sets
Sara Errani to beat Johanna Larsson in 2 sets
Roberta Vinci to beat Lara Arrubarena-Vecino in 2 sets

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