Saturday, 19 October 2013

Moscow, Luxembourg and Stockholm Finals Predictions: Stosur-Halep and more

1. Sam Stosur v Simona Halep (Moscow, F)
Sam Stosur
Moscow will close with a fascinating finale between Sam Stosur and Simona Halep.  Stosur has hit her best form of the year and produced another clinical display in the semi-finals to take out home favourite, Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets.  Halep was even better as she eased past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the loss of just 3 games.  Halep has had a quite remarkable year and really should be winning the "Most Improved Player" in the WTA awards for 2013.  She will be defending very few points up till May next year and I am very confident she will crack the top 10 and knock on the door of the top 5 as well.  

Stosur plummeted all the way down to number 20 in the rankings, which felt extremely strange, but I am glad to see her end 2013 well and there will be more points up for grabs for both players in Sofia.  Halep won their most recent encounter in Cincy, 6-4 4-6 6-2 and based on her tremendous performance today, I think she will claim the title against an in-form Sammy.

Prediction - Halep to beat Stosur in 3 sets

2. Caroline Wozniacki v Annika Beck (Luxembourg, F)
It was a struggle to close the match out, but Caroline Wozniacki eventually sealed her place in the final after defeating Sabine Lisicki, 6-4 6-4.  She now takes on first time WTA finalist, Annika Beck, who progressed through her semi-final via a retirement from Stefanie Voegele at 7-5 1-0 up due to a back injury.  This has been quite a surprise to see Beck come through and make a first final because she has been in terrible form of late with a 1-5 W-L record stretching back to the US Open.  She has shown her talent, albeit in pulses this year, but I don't see her being more than a solid top 20 / 30 player.  Wozniacki has not won a title all year, but that should change tomorrow...

Prediction - Wozniacki to beat Beck in 2 sets

3. David Ferrer v Grigor Dimitrov (Stockholm, F)
David Ferrer gets a lot of flack these days, but I am glad to see him back in a final and winning matches again before the World Tour Finals.  He recovered from losing the first set to Ernests Gulbis and raced through the decider to book a finals spot with Grigor Dimitrov.  There have been some real highs this year from the young Bulgarian, but he essentially disappeared from the radar from May with a series of mystifying losses.  Dimitrov defeated Benoit Paire in 3 sets today, 4-6 6-2 6-2 and now coached by Roger Rasheed, looks to be ending the season on a high ready for a proper assault on the rankings for 2013.  Ferrer seems to be finding his mojo again and despite a good week for Dimitrov, I would be surprised if he wins this title, which would be a first on the ATP tour.

Prediction - Ferrer to beat Dimitrov in 3 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Vienna Final Prediction
Tommy Haas to beat Robin Haase in 3 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Moscow Final Prediction
Richard Gasquet to beat Mikhail Kukushkin in 2 sets

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