Saturday 10 March 2012

Indian Wells 3rd round Previews (WTA) 2012

Third round action in BNP Paribas Open starts from March 11, 2012 with a lot of intriguing matches. So far 4 seeds have fallen, Jankovic being the highest seed to fall from the top half of the draw. Let us have a look at the 3rd round encounters of the top half that features 3 of the 4 reigning Grand Slam champions, in Azarenka (Australian Open), Kvitova (Wimbledon) and Li Na (French Open).

First Quarter

1- Azarenka (1) vs Kuznetsova (25)

Although Kuzetsova leads the head to head by 4-1, they have not met since their encounter in the semi-finals of Rome 2009 which was won by Kuzetsova. Kuznetsova won the French Open in 2009, but has not been that player since then, same goes for Azarenka, who has won her maiden slam this year and is riding an 18 match winning streak coming into the clash with Kuzetsova. The win over Barthel must be a huge confidence booster for Azarenka, in that she can win when shes not at her best.
Azrenka in straight sets.

2- Goerges (14) vs Garrigues (24)

Their most recent encounter was in the first round of Wimbledon 2011 which was easily won by Georges. However, Garrigues is a very poor 5-5 coming into this match. Goerges on the other hand has been playing well this year, making it into the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time (4r at Australian Open 2012). She is coming off a great run in Doha where she lost in the final to red hot Radwanska.
Goerges in straight sets.

3- Hampton (WC) vs Gajdosova

This is their first meeting, Hampton is a wild card entrant into the Indian Wells 2012, and so far has shown that she deserved the wild card with her upset of Jankovic, she must be riding a huge confidence wave in her clash against Gajdosova. Hampton started the year at no. 144 and has recently made her debut in top 100 at no. 99. Gajdosova, on the other hand, has won back to back matches for just the second time in 2012, she must also be feeling good after overcoming 22nd seed Belgian Wickmayer. It is a tough call to pick between the two.
Gajdosova in 3 sets.

4- Radwanska (5) vs Pennetta (27)

Many people dubbed last year as the breakthrough year for Radwanska after her back to back titles at Tokyo and Beijing and finishing the year at career best no. 8 and qualifying for the first time for WTA Championships, but this year seems to be better for Radwanska, she has only been defeated by the so far unbeatable Azarenka, and has made her top 5 debut after her title run at Doha. Pennetta started the season in style, making it to the final of Auckland but faded away after that. She seems to have rediscovered some of that form, as she is coming off a runner up showing at Acapulco, but given her H2H against Radwanska and Radwanska's current form, it will be Radwanska's match to loose.The lone victory of Pennetta over Radwanska came in Hobart in 2008. In their most recent meeting last year in Beijing Radwanska came out on top in straight sets.
Radwanska in straight sets.


1- Kvitova (3) vs Mchale (32)

This is the first encounter between the two. Kvitova is playing her first event since her semi-final run at Australian Open, and she looked good in her opening match against Strycova, the player who beat her here in the same round last year. Mchale, the only seeded U.S woman at this year's Indian Wells, also had a good win over Russian Vesnina, but I doubt Mchale will have enough in her bag to stop Kvitova.
Kvitova in straight sets.

2- Kerber (18) vs King

King had a good win over Pavlyuchenkova, but Kerber's comeback win over Stephen was no doubt classic and showed what a fighter Kerber is, she was down 62 51 and 40-15 but from then on, it was all Kerber, saving those match points and never letting go of the match. Kerber has been playing well since her run to semis of the U.S Open 2011 where she lost in 3 sets to the eventual champion Stousr, and has shown that her run to the semis was no fluke.
Kerber in straight sets.

3- Zvonareva (9) vs Zakopalova

Zvonareva has had a disastrous start to 2012. At this time last year she had won a title (Doha) and had SF appearance at the Australian Open, but this year she has yet to make a semi-final. Zakopalova too has had a poor start to the new year, she has lost the first round matches at 4 of the 6 tournaments she has so far played and lost in the 1st round of the qualifiers in the 5th tournament.  All 3 of her match wins have come during her semi-final run at Paris where she lost to Bartoli. The pair's last encounter was in Beijing 2011, where Zakopalova gave Zvonareva a tough time, but Zvonareva emerged victorious in 3 sets.
Zvonareva in 3 sets.

4- Na Li (8) vs Jie Zheng (31)

Although Li Na is winnless against her country woman but their last meeting was back in 2006 Estroil. 2 of Zheng's 4 victories over Li have come via retirement. Coming into this match Zheng will be having all the psychological advantage, though Li is now a completely different player than the player she was back in 2006, she has been in the top 10 for quite sometime now. It will be interesting to see how both players handle their nerves.
Li in 3 sets.

Who are your picks? What do you think? Who in your view will emerge as victorious????

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