Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Indian Wells QF (WTA) 2012 Preview - Bottom Half of Draw

Yesterday we saw the first two of our 4 Quarter-final matches, with Azarenka thrashing Radwanska in straight sets to book a place in the semi-finals and Kerber blowing Li Na off the court.
The remaining two Quarterfinals are scheduled for today and see World No.7 Bartoli against 2008 French Open Champion Ivanovic, and World no.2 Sharapova against her friend Kirilenko.

1- Bartoli (7) vs Ivanovic (15)

Description Bartoli Ivanovic
Match Record this year 13-5 10-5
Overall H2H    3    4
H2H on hard courts    3    4
Bartoli is through to her 2nd QF at Indian Wells. Last year she made her QF debut and advanced to the final, finishing runner-up to Wozniacki. Bartoli is playing her 4th QF of the season, after Sydney (QF), Paris(Runner-up) and Doha (SF) It is interesting to note that 6 of Bartoli's 7 titles have come on hard courts. Bartoli is playing at a career high ranking of 7 and was on fire in her 4th round clash against Safarova, but so was the player she will be facing in the QF, Ivanovic, against her opponent, Wozniacki. Ivanovic was mater-class in her win over Wozniacki in the 4th round and if she plays like that against Bartoli, she will definitely make it past her. 

The match is a re-match of the last year's QF of Indian Wells, when Bartoli defeated Ivanovic, Ivanovic will have a shot to get some revenge. Although Ivanovic leads the pair's head to head, Bartoli has won 3 of the pair's last 4 encounters, including the one at the same stage here last year.
Ivanovic is one of two former champions remaining in the field at Indian Wells this year (2008; defeated Kuznetsova in F), the other being Sharapova (2006; defeated Dementieva). Ivanovic is also one of 4 Grand Slam titlists making it to the QF stage of this year's Indian Wells (others being Azarenka, Li and Sharapova). Ivanovic is 2-2 in Indian Wells QF matches, and on the 2 occasions she won her QF, she went on to reach the Final. 
Bartoli is 0-3 against the top 20 players so far this year, while Ivanovic is 3-4 against top 10 players this year. Expect it to be a tough battle. Both are the type of players, who can go off at any time, so it will all come down to who holds herself together throughout the match. Expect Ivanovic to get some revenge.
Ivanovic in 3 sets.

2- Sharapova (2) vs Kirilenko (20)

Description Sharapova Kirilenko
Match Record this year     11-2    11-5
Overall H2H        2      2
H2H on hard courts        2      2
Kirilenko has achieved her best result at Indian Wells by reaching the QF (previously 4r in 2005). Kirilenko is bidding for her 2nd SF appearance of the season, following Pattaya City, where she lost to Daniela Hantuchova.  

Kirilenko is 2-9 lifetime against Top 2 ranked opponents; both wins have come via retirement; over No.1 Sharapova at 2005 Beijing and No.2 Safina at 2010 Australian Open. 
Sharapova is playing her first tournament since falling to Angelique Kerber in QFs at Paris in February. Sharapova is one of 2 former champions remaining in the field at Indian Wells this year (2006; defeated Dementieva in F), the other being Ivanovic (2008; defeated Kuznetsova in F). Sharapova holds the most Grand Slam singles titles of any player in the draw (3). 
Sharapova is bidding to reach the SF stage at Indian Wells for the 5th time (Champion – 2006; SF – 2005, 2008, 2011). Aside from 2003 when she lost to No.111 Samantha Reeves in the 1st round, Sharapova has never lost to a player ranked outside top 23 (Infact only 3 of her losses here at Indian Wells have come at the hands of players ranked outside top 10, the other two being in 2007, when Zvonareva ranked 20 defeated Sharapova in 4th round, and in 2010 when Zheng ranked 23 defeated Sharapova in the 3rd round) at Indian Wells. Sharapova has conceded the least number of games (12) en route to the QF here, and is the only one not to have dropped a set en route. The pair has not met since their encounter at Australian Open in 2010 in the first round, where Kirilenko upset Sharapova in 3 sets. Expect Sharapova to get some revenge.
Sharapova in straight sets.

Who do you see coming up on top in these two matches? Who is your favourite? Keep us posted. Enjoy the on-court show.

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