The WTA half of the tournament starts this afternoon. The qualification rounds are still ongoing but we have a decent card of first round matches.
Mr predictions for the WTA quarter finals are:
Serena Williams: She doesn’t meet anyone who can trouble her if she is playing well. It depends if she has her head on straight this week.
Kerber: She has a potentially tough route to the latter stages including Makarova in the 4th round. I think the quarters are as far as she goes.
Safarova: Another tough draw. Sharapova may well find some form but I’d be surprised if sh does. Lisicki has a decent chance if she plays out of her skin. She would met Safarova in the 4th round.
Kvitova: Pennetta and Ivanovic stand in her way. I don’t see Pennetta having the energy reserves for another long run in Miami after her title last week. Ivanovic can be as unpredictable as Kvitova but is capable of stealing her place in the quarters.
Cibulkova: She ha become a lot more consistent over the lat few months. This isn’t an easy section of the draw with both Halep and Venus Wiliams although those two are set to meet in the third round.
Bouchard: She went through a mini dip in form but seems to be through it. She loves the big events. Svitolina and Vinci could be her stumbling blocks.
Jankovic: She is another player who has improved her consistency in recent months. Stephens and Wozniacki will meet before they come onto the Jankovic radar but I fancy JJ to beat whoever makes it through.
Li: She didn’t end Indian Wells very impressively but I think she has one of the easiest draws among the top players. She should be able to cruise to the quarter finals but that is as far as she goes.
Today’s trading matches:
16:00 – Svitolina starts as slight underdog against Mattek Sands.
Sands is on home soil and American crowds love her. Her record in the US is far from spectacular though.and she has never been beyond the second round in Miami.
Svitolina has been a little more consistent this season and I think she has the edge.
Sands has the ability to come out and hit many players off the court. She hasn’t done it for a while though so I will have part stake on Svitolina from the start. If Sands takes an early break lead I will top up on Svitolina.
18:00 – Schiavone finally won a match in 2014 when she took the third set fro Barthel in Indian Wells. She then got battered by Stosur in round 2.
Today’s opponent is Shvedova. She didn’t break any records in 2013 but has made a great start to this season.
They have played three times before. The most recent was in 2012. Schiavone has won all their previous matches.
Even when Schiavone was losing matches she was competitive (ok maybe not against Stosur) . I think she is likely to take the lead but won’t be able to hang onto it.
20:00 – Rybarikova starts as slight favourite against Puig.
Neither player has been in great form but Puig’s stats are a little better.
Rybarikova is, for me, the classier player though and though there s likely to be a lot of price swings I expect her to find a way to get the win.
I am hoping for Puig to take an early break lead so I can lay her.