Saturday, 3 August 2013

Washington and Carlsbad, Saturday's Ones to Watch: Haas-Del Potro, Azarenka-Ivanovic

1. Tommy Haas v Juan Martin del Potro (Washington, SF)
Juan Martin del Potro
The top match on Saturday's schedule through the three tournaments will see Juan Martin del Potro take on Tommy Haas in a semi-final that has gone with the seeding.  Del Potro has had a really fantastic week, efficinetly progressing with straight set wins over Ryan Harrison, Bernard Tomic and Kevin Anderson.  In his quarter with Anderson, he even managed to claim a bagel in the tiebreak against the mammoth serving of the South African.  Haas has not been as smooth in his progress, but did play his best match of the week last night to take out Grigor Dimitrov in 2 tiebreak sets.  Perhaps a surprise is that Del Potro holds a significant lead in the head-to-head with 4 wins to 0 including a 6-1 6-2 thumping earlier this year in Indian Wells.  This will be tighter, but Del Potro is looking really great these days.

Prediction - Del Potro to beat Haas in 2 tight sets

2. Victoria Azarenka v Ana Ivanovic (Carlsbad, SF)
Unfortunately my predictions for Friday were woeful as I came out with just 1/4 correct after three of the quarter-finals went to three sets and against me! Victoria Azarenka was the only one to hold true to seeding as she dismantled the game of Urszula Radwanska, 6-1 6-2.  Ana Ivanovic has had an excellent week as she showed some real courage to beat Roberta Vinci in three sets having being dropped a double bagel when they last played in Canada last year.  Ivanovic faces a similar challenge tonight as she won just one game against Vika the last time they played at Wimbledon in 2012.  Although Azarenka has not played a great deal in recent months, I think that will favour her here and in the run-up to the US Open.

Prediction - Azarenka to beat Ivanovic in 2 sets

3. Andrea Petkovic v Alize Cornet (Washington, SF)
The womens event in Washington is another one where I did not have a good day on Friday! The one I did correctly predict was Andrea Petkovic, who recovered from losing the first set of her quarter-final to Paula Ormaechea to win, 4-6 6-1 6-3.  Next up is Alize Cornet, who continues to build together a solid 2013 as she beat a top 30 player for the first time this year with a 7-6 6-2 win over Sorana Cirstea.  It is extremely encouraging to see Petkovic doing so well and I think it is great for the WTA tour because she is one of my favourite personalities and is so respectful on the court, win or lose.  Cornet should not be underestimated, but I am getting behind Petko to make a final here.

Prediction - Petkovic to beat Cornet in 3 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Washington semi-final prediction
John Isner to beat Dmitry Tursunov in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: WTA Washington semi-final prediction
Ekaterina Makarova to beat Magdalena Rybarikova in 3 sets

Best of the rest: WTA Carlsbad semi-final prediction
Sam Stosur to beat Virginie Razzano in 2 sets

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