Monday, 19 August 2013

WTA New Haven: Preview and Predictions

Apologies for the two day hiatus, but some things are more important than tennis. This is the final week of preparations before the US Open, which begins next week.  I don't know if it is just me, but this summer hard court season has flown by much faster than usual. 

Caroline Wozniacki
Sara Errani headlines a strong draw in New Haven, which boasts 4 of the world's top 10.  When you look at the whole of her 2013 season, Errani has underperformed in North America with a quarter-final appearance in Canada and 3rd round in Cincy.  I think that shows you what a great season she has had and after a bye in round one, her first match will be against the dangerous leftie, Ekaterina Makarova or returning-from-injury, Aleksandra Wozniak.  Errani is projected to meet BFF, Roberta Vinci, in the quarter-finals, who she went down in straight sets too in Cincy.  Vinci has a tough opener against Carla Suarez Navarro, who has struggled in the past few weeks.  She does though have a 3-1 head-to-head lead over Vinci.  Simona Halep, who made the quarters of Cincy and plays Daniela Hantuchova first up.

Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens headline the weakest section of the draw that should see both come through for an enticing quarter-final showdown.  Caro had her best week on tour in Cincy since Indian Wells where she beat Petra Kvitova and showed encouraging signs in a quarter-final defeat to Victoria Azarenka.  Sloane too, has areas to work on, but should be in line for a solid US Open run if she gets a good draw.  Wozniacki plays Peng Shuai first up, a repeat of her first match in Cincy last week, meanwhile Sloane plays the qualifier, Anna Schmiedlova.

The main draw kicked off yesterday with Sabine Lisicki recording her first win post-Wimbledon overcoming Kristina Mladenovic, 7-5 6-1, who has gone 1-4 since Wimby.  Lisicki is in the third quarter where she could meet Petra Kvitova in the quarters.  This is a pretty tough section of big hitters with Toronto finalist, Sorana Cirstea and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova going head-to-head in the first round.  Alison Riske, who has managed to carry on her superb form on the grass, made it into the main draw as a qualifier and has a winnable opener against Stefanie Voegele.

The final quarter of the draw features Angelique Kerber, who has been struggling for form all summer.  She will be wary of a potential quarter-final with Dominika Cibulkova, who holds a 3-0 head-to-head lead, winning their most recent encounter in Canada.  Cibulkova will first have to get past Klara Zakopalova, who is never an easy opponent.  

1st Round Predictions: Makarova to beat Wozniak in 2 sets, Halep to beat Hantuchova in 3 sets, Suarez Navarro to beat Vinci in 3 sets, Wozniacki to beat Peng in 2 sets, Jovanovski to beat Goerges in 3 sets, Cirstea to beat Pavlyuchenkova in 3 sets, Kvitova to beat U.Radwanska in 2 sets, Cibulkova to beat Zakopalova in 3 tight sets, Puig to beat Hsieh in 2 sets and Vesnina to beat Morita in 2 sets

Moo's Final Prediction: Wozniacki d. Cibulkova

You can view my full predictions for New Haven here and also for Winston Salem here.  I will be posting my review of Cincy later tonight.

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