Sunday, 24 March 2013

WTA Miami 4th Round Predictions: Serena-Cibulkova, Aga-Sloane and Jankovic-Cirstea

1. Serena Williams v Dominika Cibulkova
Serena Williams
Serena Williams was a slow starter in her third round match with Ayumi Morita falling 0-3 down in the first set, but she turned things around to win six straight games and then complete a 6-3 6-3 win.  Her 4th round opponent will be Dominika Cibulkova, who has had her best week since making the final in Sydney back in January with straight set wins over Kristina Mladenovic and Romina Oprandi.  It is no surprise really as the Slovak has proclaimed that this is one of her favourite tournaments.  

Serena and Domi have met on one previous occasion and its a match I saw live from the back row of Centre Court where Serena won 6-0 7-5.  In this round last year, Cibulkova pushed Victoria Azarenka all the way in an absolute thriller and she certainly has the capability to zone with her powerful groundstrokes.  Serena is unlikely to be thrown off course here, but I think Cibulkova can at least make it competitive.

Prediction - Serena to beat Cibulkova in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

2. Agnieszka Radwanska v Sloane Stephens
The star match on Saturday was cancelled when Venus Williams was forced to pull out of her third round clash against Sloane Stephens with a persistent back injury.  Sloane now takes on Agnieszka Radwanska in the round of 16; Radwanska had a really tough match yesterday against an inspired Magdalena Rybarikova, 7-6(5) 2-6 6-3 in what was a fun, fun match full of cat and mouse tennis.  Aga and Sloane have met once back in Cincy last year where Radwanska prevailed 6-1 4-6 6-4.  I am still not convinced by Sloane's form who snapped a losing streak to Olga Govortsova in round one.  Radwanska's form has also been shaky, but my instinct says the Pole will win this rather comfortably.

Prediction - Radwanska to beat Stephens in 2 sets

3. Jelena Jankovic v Sorana Cirstea
The destruction of the fourth quarter continued on Sunday as the two highest seeds remaining, both fell in straight sets.  Jelena Jankovic had her best win of the year against the number 11 seed Nadia Petrova, 7-6(7) 6-4.  It was a rare gem of a serving performance from JJ, who now takes on Sorana Cirstea who enjoyed a rare day of few errors as she dominated an injury-affected Angelique Kerber, 6-4 6-0.  If you put Kerber's performance to one side, it was a very solid effort from the Romanian, who made just two unforced errors in the second set.  Cirstea leads the head-to-head 2-1, and it was against the Serb at the French Open in 2009 when she had her big breakthrough.  Jankovic won their last match in dominant fashion in Dallas last year, 6-2 6-1.  Cirstea is still extremely unpredictable, which makes this a very tough match to call; having watched Cirstea's match today, i'm tentatively going for her to win this one...

Prediction - Cirstea to beat Jankovic in 3 sets

4. Garbine Muguruza v Li Na
Not many would have predicted that the talented Spaniard, Garbine Muguruza could have defended her 4th round points from last year for Miami, but that is exactly what she had done with victories over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Caroline Wozniacki.  Yesterday's win was the best of her career so far as she comprehensively beat the Indian Wells finalist 2 and 4.  Next up for Muguruza is Li Na who has looked super sharp this week as she beat Varvara Lepchenko, 6-2 6-4 in the third round. It is a first career match-up and I hope to catch some of this match because I have yet to watch Muguruza play; still predicting a Li win though.

Prediction - Li to beat Muguruza in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: 4th round womens predictions:
Kirsten Flipkens to Ajla Tomljanovic in 2 sets 
Sara Errani to beat Ana Ivanovic in 2 sets
Maria Sharapova to beat Klara Zakopalova in 2 sets
Carla Suarez Navarro/Roberta Vinci to beat Alize Cornet in 2 sets

No comments:

Post a Comment