Miami, 23rd March

Wozniak v Niculescu:

Niculescu has had a reasonable season so far reaching the quarter finals in Doha losing to Sam Stosur in 3 sets. However since then she has had 2 weak losses. She lost the second set against Kirilenko 6-0 and then lost as a strong favourite in Indian Wells to Sofia Arvidsson.

Wozniack has a lot of wins to her name in 2012 although a lot have come in qualifying rounds. The Australian Open is the only main tour event that she has progressed beyond the first round in 2012 ( prior to this week). She lost in the opening round in Indian Wells but then entered an ITF event in Nassau where she won the title. She beat Cornet in the final and Jovanovski in the semis.

Wozniack came through the first round in Miami against Daniilidou but struggled with her serve in the first set. Once she sorted whatever the problem was she took control and won the third set 6-0.

Wozniack starts as slight favourite at 1.78  . She won their only previous meeting although it was in 2009 and on clay. There’s a slight possibility of 3 sets but I am going for Wozniack to progress.

Update: Wozniack started ok but was soon broken. She immediately broke back and from then served strongly. That is until the end of the set when she lost serve and Niculescu took the set. Wozniack won a very tight second set. Niculescu raced to a 4-0 lead in the third set and it looked like it was all over. Wozniack won the next 6 games to complete a great comeback.

Wozniack won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

 

Nalbandian v Tipsarevic:

This is a rematch of their Indian Wells encounter. In that one Nalbandian came through in 3 sets. He leads the head to heads 2-0. Their other match was in the 2007 Oz Open and went to 5 sets before Tipsarevic retired.

What an amazing start to 2012 it has been for Nalbandian. A quarter final and a semi final on the South American clay and last week in Indian Wells Cilic, Tipsarevic, Tsonga and almost Nadal got the Fat David treatment. How many times have we said in 2012, ” he must be tired after that last match”, yet he keeps on going like the Duracell Bunny. His first round match in Miami against Darcis was closer than expected at 6-4, 7-6. Maybe he’s ready for a week off?

My first thought when I see Tipsarevic’s name on the list of matches is that he is having a disappointing season. However when you look at his matches for the year so far he reached the final In Chennai, A semi final in Marseille and a quarter final in Dubai where he lost to Djokovic. My feeling of disappointment in him is probably my bank talking. He is one of my favourite players and I tend to put a lot of faith in his ability. His loss to Llodra in Marseille was poor as he wasted set points in the second set. In losing to Nalbandian in Indian Wells he seemed to almost hit the self destruct button having played a pretty good match.

Its almost guaranteed to go to 3 sets and I will stick with Duracell Dave.

Hopefully Tipsarevic doesn’t find a way to “put the bunny back in the box”.

 Update: He put the bunny back in the box!

Tipsarevic won 7-5, 6-3.

 

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