Monday 12 March 2012

Indian Wells 3rd Round Previews (WTA) 2012 - Bottom Half of Draw

Third round matches of the top half of the draw  have been completed. There were some withdrawls and some upsets, the biggest being Mchale's win over Kvitova, and the biggest withdrawl so far being that of Zvonareva due to viral illness. 
Third round action of the bottom half of the draw begins today with the likes of Sharapova, Wozniacki, Ivanovic, Stosur and Schiavone taking the court. Who will emerge as the winner and which underdog will emerge victorious, only time will tell us. For now on, let us have a preview of the 3rd round matches.


1- Bartoli (7) vs Scheepers

Description Bartoli Scheepers
Match Record this year  11-5     5-6
Overall H2H     0      0
Hard Courts H2H     0      0

This is the pair's first meeting. Bartoli's year so far has been up and down, she played some good matches at Hopman cup but then went down meekly to Zheng at Australian Open, she made it to the finals of the Paris, where she fell short to German Kerber, she made it to the semi-final of Doha, but retired in her match aginst Stosur. She had to fight it out of the 2nd round against Lepchenko, but the way she came back after loosing the first set must have given her a confidence boost. She is the defending finalist here.Scheepers on the other hand, had some tough luck during the year drawing players like Williams, Sharapova, Kuznetsova in the first and second round matches. However, she did push to Li Na, and Kuznetsova to the limits at Sydney and Australian Open respectively before bowing out in 3 sets.Her straight sets win over Kanepi should be a confidence booster for her. It will be an interesting match to watch.
Bartoli in 3 sets.

2- Schiavone (10) vs Safarova (23)

Description Safarova  Schiavone
Match Record this year    7-6      7-6
Overall H2H     3       3
Hard Courts H2H     3       0

All three of Safarova's wins over Schiavone have come on hardcourts, the most recent being at Torronto last year in the 3rd round. Schiavone has been unable to take a set off in all those 3 losses, and she has not been playing well lately. In fact she has not won back to back matches since her run to the semi-final of Brisbane, and she came into the Indian Wells having dropped her openers in the last two tournaments she played (Doha and Dubai). Safarova on the other hand has played well in her last 2 tournaments, she made the Quarter-finals of Doha and en-route defeated the likes of Wozniaki and Kuznetsova before falling to Bartoli in 3 sets. In her next tournament at Dubai, she lost a hard fought battle to the reigning U.S Open champion Smantha Stousr. This will be a tough test for Schiavone and it will be all about which player can hold herself together for the entire match, whoever does so, will emerge victorious.
Safarova in straight sets.

3- Ivanovic (15) vs Pervak

Description Ivanovic Pervak
Match Record this year    8-5   5-5
Overall H2H     1    0
Hard Courts H2H     1    0

The pair's only previous meeting was in the first round of last year's U.S Open, and Ivanovic won it handily. Pervak was impressive in her straight sets victory over Chinese Peng Shuai and must be high on confidence, but given Ivanovis's success at this event, it will be an uphill journey for Pervak.
Ivanovic in straight sets.

4- Wzniacki (4) vs Arvidsson

DescriptionArvidsson  Wozniacki
Match Record this year    8-3       8-4
Overall H2H     2        5
Hard Courts H2H     1        1

Wozniacki had a very impressive win over Makarova, loosing just two games during the entire course of match. Arvidsson has also been playing well lately, but given their Head to Head against Wozniacki and Wozniacki's impressive win over Makarova, it will be a tough call for Arvidsson to pull it off against Wozniacki.
Wozniacki in straight sets.


1- Stosur (6) vs Petrova (30)

Match Record this year  7-5   2-3
Overall H2H   2    4
Hard Courts H2H   1    3

Although Petrova leads in the pair's Head to Head but their last 2 encounters were won by Stosur, both coming in 2011, one at Eastbourne and the other in the 3rd round of U.S Open 2011, which was the longest U.S Open womens match of Open Era, that lasted 3 hours and 16 minutes. Stousr had a disastrous start to 2012 but seems to have regained some of her form. Petrova had played only 4 matches coming into Indian wells and was 1-3, her lone victory coming in the first round of Australian Open 2012. She looked good in dismantling Davis in straight sets, but will her lack of match play and her recent form be enough to take her to the 4th round?
Stosur in Straight sets. 

2- Kirilenko (20) vs Dominguez Lino

Description Kirilenko     Dominguez-Lino
Match Record this year    9-4            6-6*
Overall H2H     1             0
Hard Courts H2H     1             0
*includes ITF wins as well

It is interesting to note that the pair's lone meeting happened in the second round of the same tournament 5 years back in 2007. It was Kirilenko who emerged victorious in a 3 set battle. Kirilenko has had some good results so far, making it to the finals of Pattaya City, and she looked good in her victory over Begu in the second round. Dominguez was very solid in her win over Lisicki, and must be high on confidence. Expect it to be a tough battle.
Kirilenko in 3 sets.

3- Cibulkova (16) vs Vinci (21)

Description Vinci Cibulkova
Match Record this year   9-6     3-7
Overall H2H    1      2
Hard Courts H2H    0      2

Although Cibulkova leads the pair's head to head but Cibulkova has had a very poor start to the new year and she has yet  to win back to back matches in 2012. Vinci is coming off a semi-final showing at Acapulco. Given their recent forms it should be a tough match for Cibulkova, and a good chance for VInci to get some revenge.
Vinci in straight sets.

4- Sharapova (2) vs Halep

Description Halep Sharapova
Match Record this year   8-6      9-2
Overall H2H     0       0 
Hard Courts H2H     0       0

This is the first meeting of the pair. Sharapova has been playing consistently well lately. She has made it to the SF or better of the last 4 grand slams. Her only looses this year have been to Azarenka in the Australian Open final and to Kerber in the Quarter-finals of Paris (Both looses to eventual champions). Halep looked good in her second roun win over Cetkovska but Sharapova was on fire in her second round win over Dulko. It will be an uphill battle for Halep.
Sharapova in straight sets.

Who are you supporting and who do you think has the best chances of making it to the fourth round? Keep us updated of your views.

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