Sunday, 4 August 2013

ATP / WTA Washington, WTA Carlsbad Final Predictions: Azarenka-Stosur, Del Potro-Isner

1. Victoria Azarenka v Sam Stosur (Carlsbad, F)
Sam Stosur
Sam Stosur will look to break a 0-8 head-to-head record with Victoria Azarenka in the Carlsbad final on Sunday.  Stosur suffered a disappointing first round loss to Olga Govortsova in Stanford, but a smart move to take a wildcard in Carlsbad has given her the chance to get five matches under her belt and secure some impressive scalps in Varvara Lepchenko (R1) and Agnieszka Radwanska (QF's).  Stosur recovered from 0-4 down in the first set to beat Virginie Razzano in two tight sets, 7-6 (2) 6-3.  

Azarenka had a funny old match with Ana Ivanovic, eventually requiring three sets after dishing out a first set bagel.  It was not a vintage performance from Azarenka, but a win is a win.  Azarenka has ran circles around Stosur in the head-to-head, but the Aussie has pushed Vika hard the last two times they have played, taking a set in that superb US Open quarter-final and earlier this year in Rome.  Stosur only has three titles to her name so this will be a huge deal to her... still, I think Azarenka will be too consistent.

Prediction - Azarenka to beat Stosur in 3 sets

2. Juan Martin del Potro v John Isner (Washington, F)
On a damp day at the Citi Open, it was Juan Martin del Potro and John Isner who emerged as the semi-final victors to set up a heavy hitting finale.  Del Potro defeated Tommy Haas, 7-6(4) 6-3 as he came back from 1-4 down in the first set after a rain delay.  Isner lost the first set of his semi against Dmitry Tursunov on a tiebreak, but then rather miraculously managed to win the next two sets, earning a break of serve in each.  It has been a great few weeks for Isner, who won the title in Atlanta last week and could go up to number 14 in the rankings with a victory today.  Del Potro leads the head-to-head by 3 wins to 0 with all their previous encounters taking two sets.  Isner has played a lot of tennis over the past few weeks and Del Potro has looked too good this week to suggest that Isner could sneak the title.

Prediction - Del Potro to beat Isner in 2 tight sets

3. Magdalena Rybarikova v Andrea Petkovic (Washington, F)
Andrea Petkovic
The second womens semi-final between Andrea Petkovic and Alize Cornet finished after 2am in Washington D.C., but by all accounts it was an excellent match.  The women have been consistently shafted by the schedulers this week and here is hoping the women put on a good show in the final.  Magdalena Rybarikova is on a 9-match winning streak in D.C. having won the title last year.  She absolutely routed Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2 6-0 in Saturday's surprise scoreline.  Her opponent in the final, the resurgent Petkovic, beat Cornet for the first time in her career in a tight two setter.  Petkovic is starting to become more and more consistent, but you cannot ignore Rybarikova's improvements this week and the obvious fact she loves these courts.

Prediction - Rybarikova to beat Petkovic in 2 sets (1 tight,  easy)

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