Tuesday, 24 September 2013

WTA Tokyo 3rd Round Predictions: Jankovic-Bouchard and Keys-Kvitova

Today saw quite an upset as a struggling, Victoria Azarenka was bundled out of the tournament by Venus Williams, who put in a measured performance to go to 3-0 in their head-to-head.  I have only had a chance to watch the highlights and boy is it weird watching Azarenka not grunting.  I remember she went a set in a match with Flavia Pennetta in Dubai a few years ago where she didn't grunt at all.  She was obviously not feeling great.  It really sucks not being able to watch any of the tennis this week as Tokyo is at a bad time when I am sleeping and at work.  Tomorrow's line-up is pretty great and I would happily watch all 8 matches.

1. Petra Kvitova v Madison Keys
Madison Keys
Wednesday will see some of the hot prospects get a shot at a big scalp.  In this one, Madison Keys takes on Petra Kvitova in a very winnable match for the American.  I really thought that Keys was going to have a massive breakthrough this summer, but a shoulder injury sidelined her in Toronto and Cincy and then she was unlucky to draw Jelena Jankovic in the first round with barely any matches under her belt.  She was heading for a rapid exit in the first round to Carla Suarez Navarro at 7-5 5-2 down, but she produced the comeback of all comebacks to win the match.  She then defeated Peng Shuai in the second round, who is a very competent player on her day. 

Kvitova's form has been as up and down like a yo-yo; illnesses have also affected her at the worst possible times and have been her downfall at the last two Grand Slams.  She came through Belinda Bencic in a tight two setter on Monday.  Kvitova and Keys have never played before on the WTA tour; Kvitova has been so irratic of late that she could quite comfortably lose to anyone.  I feel this one is worth taking a risk because Keys has a big game and she is not afraid of causing a big shock...

Prediction - Keys to beat Kvitova in 3 sets

2. Jelena Jankovic v Eugenie Bouchard
Jelena Jankovic
As Jelena Jankovic comfortably passed by Ayumi Morita in straight sets, Eugenie Bouchard was battling to a huge win in an epic clash with Sloane Stephens.  Bouchard went up 5-0 in the first set in less than 20 minutes, but lost the set, 7-5 and Sloane then served for the match.  Of course, that was not the end of the drama as Bouchard fought back, overcame more jitters in the second set tiebreak to win it and then take the match, 5-7 7-6(7) 6-3 in 2 hours and 19 minutes.  It was a surprising loss for Sloane, but an excellent win for Genie who will crack the top 40 next week.  The WTA tour has a lot of depth right now and the fact that Serena, Azarenka, Sharapova and Li are nowhere to be seen, but the line-up for the last 16 remains very strong is a testament to the quality.  Jankovic won their only previous match in Charleston and I think the game style of JJ does not match up well to Bouchard... JJ to win.

Prediction - Jankovic to beat Bouchard in 2 tight sets

3. Angelique Kerber v Ana Ivanovic
Angelique Kerber
The great match-ups keep coming with the last match on the schedule pitting Angelique Kerber and Ana Ivanovic against each other for the third time this year.  Kerber's form has not been great this year, but she was at her full flowing best in round two as she destroyed Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, 6-0 6-1, and should have got the double bagel if it wasn't for a sloppy service game at the end.  Ivanovic has looked excellent this week, losing a combined 5 games to youngsters, Annika Beck and Elina Svitolina.  Ivanovic leads the head-to-head 3-0; this includes 2 clashes in 2013 with an entertaining two setter in Stuttgart (Davis Cup) and a very comfortable win in Madrid.  I find a lot of my favourite matches over the past 2 years have involved Kerber and I think this match-up, if both play well, has the potential to be a compelling match.  On this occasion, I'm backing Ana.

Prediction - Ivanovic to beat Kerber in 3 sets

4. Dominika Cibulkova v Agnieszka Radwanska
Aga Radwanska
In Sydney, Agnieszka Radwanska won 6-0 6-0 and in Stanford, Dominika Cibulkova won 3-6 6-4 6-4 so goodness knows what is going to happen in this match, a third in 2013 between Aga and Pome.  Radwanska is in some good form having taken the title in Seoul and winning her first match in Japan with a 7-6(5) 6-0 victory over nice-to-see-you-back-from-injury, Aleksandra Wozniak.  Cibulkova's form has dropped off the radar again since winning Stanford, but this week has seen two solid wins so far over Urszula Radwanska and Casey Dellacqua.  Cibulkova was excellent when she turned the tables on Radwanska with a lights out performance in Stanford.  I have a feeling though that it will be tough for Cibulkova to match it again and despite some tiredness, I think Radwanska will progress to the quarter-finals.

Prediction - Radwanska to beat Cibulkova in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: WTA Tokyo 3rd round predictions
Simona Halep to beat Venus Williams in 3 sets
Svetlana Kuznetsova to beat Sorana Cirstea in 3 sets
Lucie Safarova to beat Sam Stosur in 2 tight sets
Caroline Wozniacki to beat Magdalena Rybarikova in 2 sets


  1. good predictions but ones for venus havent been accurate dont underestimate her !!!

  2. Watch out Cirstea has the game to beat Kuznetsova and she's more focused vs tough opponents!
    Keys not ready to beat the top guns yet. She got lucky with Li Na. Rather she'll play into Kvitova's comfort zone-baseline play with not too much mixing of shots. Less errors for Kvitova and bp's mp's saved since Keys doesn't have the grit to serve out the sets. Kvitova would have to be extra haywire to lose this match...ok its possible.