Qatar Total Open 2012
Keothavong v Paszek:
Head to heads are 2-0 to Paszek. She is yet to record a win in a main draw match this year although she was underdog in all 3 matches ( to Williams, Ivanovic and Goerges). She also lost in the first round of qualifying for Sydney to Jovanovski.
Keothavong has come through qualifying rounds in Doha beating the other two British girls, Watson and Robson. She beat both in straight sets with Robson winning just 2 games. She beat 2nd seed Cibulkova last week in Pattaya but then lost to Miraza in straight sets.
This match should be close and Paszek should be looking to get her first win. This is the first match this year where she is the higher ranked player ( in the main draw) and having won 4 of the 5 sets they have played in the past will give her confidence.
She will need to get off to a fast start as an early break against her could hurt mentally. Keothavong will no doubt switch rapidly between excellent groundstrokes and weak errors which is usually how her games go.
I will be starting with a lay of Keothavong and will manage the position from there but will be giving Paszek every opportunity to get the win.
Update: Keothavong won in straight sets.
San Jose, USA
Young v Russell:
Head to heads are 3-3 and they have won alternate matches in that series. All six of their matches have been in America.
Evem though it’s Russell’s “turn” to win, Young’s ranking has improved 89 paces since their last match in August 2011. In that same period Russell’s ranking has improved 6 places. Young won that match in straight sets. Incidentally they have never played a 3 set match.
Russell can be a very awkward opponent. He can serve very well although not consistently well. His groundstrokes can move from being superb to being almost comical. That unpredictability can catch opponents napping.
A right quad strain at the end of 2011 was a set back for Young. In 2012 he has yet to get past the second round of any tournament other than a Challenger event in the first week of January. He was top seed there but lost in the quarter finals ( third round) to a player ranked over 100 places lower.
I feel Young has had time to get his game back on track and we will see whether that is the case today. I expect him to come through a tight match in three sets.
Young starts at 1.73 on Betfair.
Update: Is Young a one season wonder? Lost in straight sets 6-1, 7-6.