Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Wednesday in Beijing: Radwanska-Keys, Kuznetsova-Petkovic and Lisicki-Li

This year's Beijing has gone remarkably with the seeding as 10 out of 12 seeds so far have progressed into the 3rd round, which is quite some result so close to the end of the season.

1. Agnieszka Radwanska v Madison Keys (Beijing, R2)
Aga Radwanska
A three set victory over Stefanie Voegele was not a convincing result for Agnieszka Radwanska, who will have to be at her best to get past Madison Keys in another intriguing second rounder in Beijing.  Keys produced another competent performance to beat Dominika Cibulkova, 6-4 6-3 in the first round.  After a disjointed summer hard court season due to injury, she is starting to roll now and having beaten Carla Suarez Navarro and Peng Shuai last week in Tokyo, a strong finish to the year will set up 2014 perfectly.  Radwanska destroyed Keys in their first match-up last year in Miami, but she was given a severe test in a high quality match at Wimbledon this year where Aga prevailed 7-5 4-6 6-3.  If Radwanska is still tired from her Seoul-Tokyo exploits, Keys has a chance, but I would still back Radwanska to get through this one.

Prediction - Radwanska to beat Keys in 2 tight sets

2. Svetlana Kuznetsova v Andrea Petkovic (Beijing, R2)
Andrea Petkovic
The disappearing act of Victoria Azarenka for the second straight week has left a big void in the bottom half of the draw, but a huge opportunity for a scattering of players including Svetlana Kuznetsova and Andrea Petkovic.  Petko's 6-4 2-6 6-4 victory over Azarenka saw the headlines mainly focus on Azarenka, but the German player still had to wrap up the match as she did in style.  Kuznetsova seems to be over her summer slump and has 100% recovered from the injuries that kept her out of Wimbledon.  She eased past a slumping Hsieh Su-Wei in the first round, 6-1 6-1.  

Kuznetsova and Petkovic are all square at 2-2 in their head-to-head with 3 of those 4 matches going to 3 sets and Petkovic winning their last match in Tokyo back in 2010.  I would love another Petkovic win, but Kuznetsova's building some good results together this fall and this should be her match for the taking.

Prediction - Kuznetsova to beat Petkovic in 2 tight sets

3. Sabine Lisicki v Li Na (Beijing, R3)
Sabine Lisicki
Losing just 5 games in her first 2 matches, Li Na has been in scintillating form so far in front of her home crowd.  However she faces the Wimbledon finalist, Sabine Lisicki in tomorrow's late night match, which will be a significantly tougher match.  Lisicki blitzed past a struggling-again, Venus Williams for the loss of just 3 games.  This could be a great match or an absolute dud; the pair fought out a classic under the Wimbledon roof in 2011 where Lisicki saved match points to stun the then, French Open champion and make it all the way to the semi-finals.  However their last match-up in Miami was one of the worst matches I have watched as Li came through in 3 terribly error laden sets.  With Li in front of a home crowd and Lisicki obviously buoyed by a big win over Venus, I am more inclined to say this will be a good match that is worthy of adding to their collection.

Prediction - Li to beat Lisicki in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: WTA Beijing 2nd round predictions
Ana Ivanovic to beat Polona Hercog in 2 tight sets
Jelena Jankovic to beat Galina Voskoboeva in 2 sets

Best of the rest: WTA Beijing 3rd round predictions
Petra Kvitova to beat Sara Errani in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: ATP Beijing 2nd round predictions
Lleyton Hewitt to beat Fabio Fognini in 3 sets
Rafael Nadal to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in 2 tight sets
John Isner to beat Roberto Bautista-Agut in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: ATP Tokyo 2nd round predictions
Juan Martin del Potro to beat Carlos Berlocq in 2 tight sets
Alexandr Dolgopolov to beat Janko Tipsarevic in 3 sets
Ivan Dodig to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 3 sets
Jarkko Nieminen to beat Michal Przysiezny in 3 sets

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