Tuesday 13 March 2012

Indian Wells 4th Round Preview (WTA) 2012 - Bottom Half

The fourth round of Indian Wells starts today, with 6 of the top 8 seeds taking the courts today. The only top 8 seeds to have fallen so far are no.3 Kvitova and no.6 Stosur. Preview of the 4th round matches of the top half of the draw are here.
Let us have a quick look at the 4th round encounters of the bottom half of the draw, where 1 defending and 2 former Indian Wells Champions will walk on the court today. The defending champion, Wozniacki, will be battling it out against the 2008 Indian Wells chmapion, Ivanovic. The other former champion in this half of the draw is the second seed Sharapova who won the title back in 2006.

1- Bartoli (7) vs Safarova (23)
Description Bartoli Safarova
Match Record this year   12-5     8-6
Overall H2H     5      1
H2H on hard courts     3      1

Safarova is 1-3 against top players this year. Her lone victory coming over Wozniacki in the second round of Doha, she went on to reach the QF where she lost in 3 sets to none other than her opponent here in the 4th round. This is Bartoli's 10th appearance at Indian Wells and she has made it to the 4th round for the 5th time. In her previous 9 visits here, Bartoli had reached the 4th round 4 times and only once did she make it out of the 4th round, which was last year when she went on to reach the final before falling to Wozniacki. Bartoli is 7-1 against players ranked outside top 30, so far this year, her only loss (at the hands of player outside top 30) coming at the hands of Jie Zheng in the 3rd round of Australian Open. This is Safarova's 7th trip to Indian Wells, and the first time  when she has won back to back matches here and made it out of the 3rd round. Safarova can beat anyone on a given day and she has shown us that but she has been very inconsistent. Given their current form, their record so far this year, and their head to head, I have to give edge to Bartoli.
Bartoli in 3 sets.

2- Wozniacki (4) vs Ivanovic (15)
Description Wozniacki Ivanovic
Match Record this year     9-4      9-5
Overall H2H      2       2
H2H on hard courts      2       1
This is the 5th meeting of the pair but their first here at Indian Wells, their most recent encounter coming in the QF of Dubai this year, won by Wozniacki in straight sets.  They have a lot of things in common, they are both former world no.1's, both have won Indian Wells before (Ivanovic in 2008 and Wozniacki in 2011) and both have been runner-up here as well (Ivanovic in 2009 and Wozniacki in 2010). This is Wozniacki's 6th appearance here at Indian Wells and she has never lost to a player ranked outside the top 10 here. Her losses coming against Hingis (Ranked no.6) in the second round in 2007, Kuznetsova (Ranked no.3) in the 4th round in 2008, Zvonareva (Ranked no.6) in QF in 2009,and Jankovic (Ranked no.9) in 2010. For Ivanovic, this is her 7th appearance here at Indian Wells and in only 2 of her previous 6 visits she has lost before the QF stage, in 2007 in the 4th round and in 2010 in the 2nd round. Expect it to be a tough battle between two former no.1s and former Indian Wells Champions.
Ivanovic in 3 sets.

3- Kirilenko (20) vs Petrova (30)

Description Kirilenko Petrova
Match Record this year    11-5    3-3
Overall H2H       3     4
H2H on hard courts       1     4
Entering Indian Wells, Petrova was 1-3 for the season, however, she has put together back to back wins here (her first back to back wins of 2012) and she did so in a great fashion by dismantling the reigning U.S Open champion, Stosur. When she walked on to the court for her match against Stosur Petrova had lost her last 6 such matches against the top 10 players but she left nothing out there and emerged victorious; Currently at No.33,Petrova is playing here on her lowest ranking since 2003, when she failed to qualify and was ranked No.110. The win over Stosur must be a huge confidence booster for her. This is Petrova's 5th consecutive 4th round showing at Indian Wells, however she has never made it out of the 4th round here. For Kirilenko, this is her 9th showing here at Indian Wells, and like Petrova she has already matched her previous best showing here by making it to the 4th round here. The last time and the only time before this year when she made it to the 4th round was back in 2005 when she came through qualifiers. 4 of Kirilenko's 5 losses this year have come at the hands of top 20 players, the lone loss coming at the hands of Arvidsson (ranked 77 at that time) in the 2nd qualifying round of Sydney. The pair's last 3 encounters have gone to 3 sets and Petrova has come out on top twice but they have not played since their encounter in the SF of New Haven in 2010. It will be a close call with both players trying to make it to their first Indian Wells QF.

Petrova in 3 sets.

4- Sharapova (2) vs Vinci (21)

Description Sharapova  Vinci
Match Record this year   10-2   10-6
Overall H2H      1      0
H2H on hard courts      1      0
Their only previous meeting came in the first round of U.S Open in 2007, and Vinci was able to take off only one game from Sharapova. This is Vinci's 5th appearance at Indian Wells and her best showing so far. For Sharapova, this is her 10th appearance here. Sharapova has only lost twice to a player ranked outside top 20 during her previous 9 visits here, (one was back in 2003 when Sharapova was a wild card entrant into in the draw, she lost in the first round to Samantha Reeves ranked no. 115, her other loss coming in the 3rd round in 2010 at the hands of Zheng who was ranked 23 at that time. I will give the edge to Sharapova.

Sharapova in straight sets.

Who do you think will prevail in the on-court battles and who will fall short? Keep us updated.

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