Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Thursday at Cincy, 3rd Round Predictions: Federer-Haas, Serena-Barthel and more

Unbelievable news overnight that after losing in three sets to Simona Halep, Marion Bartoli has decided to retire from tennis with immediate effect.  A really shocking, but sad storyline.  A blog post on Bartoli coming later tonight...

1. Roger Federer v Tommy Haas
Tommy Haas
For the second time this year, best buds Roger Federer and Tommy Haas will square off on the ATP tour.  Federer, who has switched back to playing with his smaller racquet this week, produced a solid straight sets win over Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round, 6-3 7-6(7), which included saving a set point in the second set.  

I was a bit worried that Haas was struggling with injuries and fatigue, which is why I predicted he would fall early; however he has played two great match this week to dispatch of Kevin Anderson and Marcel Granollers in straight sets.  This will be a 15th clash between the pair with Federer leading the head-to-head 11-3.  Their last two matches took place on the grass with Haas winning the Halle title in 2012 and Federer gaining revenge in a 3 set semi-final this year.  I have a feeling and there is no reasoning behind it, that Federer will win this match.

Prediction - Federer to beat Haas in 3 sets

2. Serena Williams v Mona Barthel
Mona Barthel
For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you will have grown to realise I am a fan of Mona Barthel and was certainly jumping on the bandwagon at the start of the year when she was looking like the next big thing.  2013 has not gone as smoothly as it began, but this has been Mona's best week on tour since Miami with two excellent straight set wins over Lucie Safarova and Maria Kirilenko.  Of course, there is still the mental issue as she wobbled in the second set against Kirilenko (led 4-0 and eventually won it 6-4). She seems to be fighting more in matches, particularly after a spell in the middle of the season when she kept giving away bagel and / or breadstick sets.  

In the third round of Cincy, Mona gets a shot at Serena Williams, who was given a scare by another talent, Eugenie Bouchard.  The Canadian youngster displayed some rock-hard nerve to take the opening set, but was unable to live with Serena when her forehand started to click.  I was impressed by Bouchard, who has great movement and can also pack a punch too.  Unless Serena has a really rough day, I cannot see Barthel having the mental toughness to grab even a set.  It will be a good measure though of where she is at in her career and the improvements she needs to make... personally, I think she needs a new coach!

Prediction - Serena to beat Barthel in 2 sets

3. Sloane Stephens v Jelena Jankovic
Jelena Jankovic
An intriguing first career meeting awaits Jelena Jankovic and Sloane Stephens in a match-up that should hold up well in quality, but definitely in entertainment.  Sloane enjoyed her second top 10 win of her career on Tuesday night; her first was against an injured Serena and her second was against a rusty-as-nails, Maria Sharapova, who hit over 60 unforced errors in a 2-6 7-6 6-3 defeat.  After two wobbly weeks in Carlsbad and Toronto, JJ has actually done well to progress into the 3rd round of Cincy.  This week she has taken out both Sabine Lisicki and Ekaterina Makarova in tough 3 setters and seems to be getting her game back on track after a slow start on the American hard courts.  Both have solid baseline games, but I think JJ has the superior serve.  There is an opening in the section of the draw and I will go for Jankovic to grab it...

Prediction - Jankovic to beat Stephens in 3 sets

Best of the rest: 3rd Round WTA Predictions
Sam Stosur to beat Simona Halep in 2 tight sets
Agnieszka Radwanska to beat Elena Vesnina in 2 tight sets
Li Na to beat Angelique Kerber in 3 sets
Roberta Vinci to beat Sara Errani in 3 sets
Petra Kvitova to beat Caroline Wozniacki in 2 tight sets
Victoria Azarenka to beat Magdalena Rybarikova in 2 sets

Best of the rest: 3rd Round ATP Predictions
Novak Djokovic to beat David Goffin in 2 sets
John Isner to beat Milos Raonic in 3 sets
David Ferrer to beat Dmitry Tursunov in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)
Juan Martin del Potro to beat Feliciano Lopez in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)
Rafael Nadal to beat Grigor Dimitrov in 2 tight sets
Tomas Berdych to beat Tommy Robredo in 2 sets
Andy Murray to beat Julien Benneteau in 2 tight sets


  1. On monas mental fortitude : 9 aces vs 1 double fault give some encouragement she is not so fragile as suggested. And yes this match for mona is a 'nothingtolose' match which will let her see where her game is

  2. I'm hoping that Caro will win Petra. I think Caro has actually played better and encouraging thinking about US Open.

  3. for those not in the know., Bartoli had planned to play Hopman cup next year
    this sudden move to quit is hard to understand: how can one loss do this?

  4. On Mona being 'the next big thing' are Keys Stephens Muguruza etc
    these ARE the next big things..and like mos next big things take time to mature and become consistent.
    2007: whod have said Djokovic would win 6 majors...even in 2011...he was one of the next big things, but still inconsistent

    Once upon a time federer was 'the next big thing'..and they waited and they waited and wondered with growing irritation why 'the next big thing' wasnt arriving!