Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Thursday's Preview: Stosur-Cornet, Wozniacki-Niculescu and Johansson-Raonic

I was surprised to see so little coverage about Alisa Kleybanova, who today beat Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets to reach her first quarter-final since April, 2011.  I have been thoroughly impressed with her comeback so far and look forward to seeing how she gets on in her quarter-final match against Simona Halep or Magdalena Rybarikova.

1. Sam Stosur v Alize Cornet (Moscow, R2)
Alize Cornet
I thought Sam Stosur might struggle in Moscow, but with a Wednesday start she took full advantage of a few days off after winning the title in Osaka and demolished Kaia Kanepi in the first round, 6-3 6-1.  She faces another tough match in round two against Alize Cornet.  The Frenchwomen posted on Twitter that she had requested a later start in Moscow to aid the recovery of a back injury, but was chucked into the schedule first up on Monday.  She played a solid match to take out the rising Elina Svitolina in straight sets.  Stosur and Cornet, who are both scheduled to play the Tournament of Champions event in Sofia, have played each other five times with Stosur winning 3 of those matches.  The last of those came in Tokyo where Stosur recovered from losing the first set to win in 3.  I think it will be a little easier this time round for Sammy...

Prediction - Stosur to beat Cornet in 2 tight sets

2. Caroline Wozniacki v Monica Niculescu (Luxembourg, R2)
There has been a lot of media speculation lately regarding Caroline Wozniacki's love life, but she is focussing on the tennis this week as she will take to the court in Luxembourg to play Monica Niculescu in the second round.  I thought Wozniacki did look rather glum yesterday as she fought off a game second set effort from Mandy Minella to win 6-3 7-6(2).  Niculescu has had a solid enough year and she passed the challenge of Alexandra Cadantu in the first round.  This will be the third time they have played this year, the first of those in Cincy which took nearly 2 hours for a 6-3 6-4 scoreline.  Wozniacki leads the head-to-head 5-0 and shouldn't have any problems tomorrow.

Prediction - Wozniacki to beat Niculescu in 2 sets

3. Joachim Johansson v Milos Raonic (Stockholm, R2)
The story of this week's Stockholm tournament has been the return of Joachim Johansson to the tour.  The Swede, who had not played for 2 years due to injury, came through qualifying and rather surprisingly took out Alejandro Falla with consumate ease, 6-1 6-3.  Johansson now faces chasing-the-O2, Milos Raonic who had a bye into the second round.  Johansson is somewhat of a surprise package this week so it is hard to gauge how he will get on in this match.  I fancy Raonic to win relatively comfortably and keep his hopes for the World Tour Finals well and truly alive.

Prediction - Raonic to beat Johansson in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: WTA Moscow 2nd Round Predictions
Vesna Dolonc to beat Daniela Hantuchova in 3 sets
Simona Halep to beat Magdalena Rybarikova in 3 sets
Sam Stosur to beat Alize Cornet in 2 tight sets
Ana Ivanovic to beat Klara Zakopalova in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: WTA Luexmbourg 2nd Round Predictions
Caroline Wozniacki to beat Monica Niculescu in 2 sets
Sabine Lisicki to beat Tereza Smitkova in 2 sets
Andrea Petkovic to beat Karin Knapp in 3 sets
Stefanie Voegele to beat Karolina Pliskova in 2 tight sets
Sloane Stephens to beat Yvonne Meusburger in 2 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Stockholm 2nd Round Predictions
David Ferrer to beat Jack Sock in 2 sets
Fernando Verdasco to beat Jarkko Nieminen in 3 sets
Ernests Gulbis to beat Igor Sijsling in 2 tight sets
Grigor Dimitrov to beat Jan-Lennard Struff in 3 sets
Kevin Anderson to beat Kenny De Schepper in 2 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Vienna 2nd Round Predictions
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to beat Danny Brands in 2 tight sets
Fabio Fognini to beat Lukas Kubot in 3 sets
Vasek Pospisil to beat Robin Haase in 3 sets
Philipp Kohlschreiber to beat Ruben Bemelmens in 2 sets
Tommy Haas to beat Miloslav Mecir in 2 sets

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