Bratchikova has ridden her luck this week. She has played an out of form Peer, and tired Hantuchova and Morita. You can only beat the player that’s in front of you though and she has dealt with them well and taken her chances.
Lisicki’s opponents so far have been inspired into excellent serving performances at least in the opening sets. Panova is normally fragile on serve to say the least but she served like Raonic in their opening set. Erakovic is very capable of serving well and she took their opening set before weakening in sets 2 and 3. Of course the serving stats could have been made to look better than they were by Lisicki being poor on return of serve in the first sets. She appeared to step up a gear from the second set onwards.
Lisicki starts at 1.22 which is crazy especially when you look at some of the results we have seen this week. Lisicki is far from her best and if she plays safe in the first set as she appears to have done all week then Bratchikova has the form to nick the first set.
I still fancy Lisicki to take it in 3 sets.
Sara Errani’s confidence has been shaky lately. Her team obviously prepare her correctly for each match as she starts well but as soon as things don’t go to plan she looks very unsure of herself. Her doubles partner Vinci has been there to support her but at times looks more nervous than Errani!
She played Carla Caveboy off the court for the first 3 games of their match yesterday before losing the next 4 games and if Carla hadn’t screwed up the chance the Spaniard could ( and probably should ) have taken the first set. In the end it was Errani’s experience that pulled her through to win 7-5 in the third set. Perhaps that win will boost the confidence a little.
Today’s opponent is Kiki Bertens who has taken out Paszek, Cibulkova and Safarova in straight sets. That’s an impressive list even allowing for the fact that all 3 were well below their best.
Bertens has been suffering with a bad back this week so if this goes to 3 sets I would be favouring Errani. I actually think 3 sets are quite likely as Bertens will try to come out swinging to get the job done quickly. Her serve has been fairly reliable this week but this is a huge match for her and I’d expect her to tighten up if she gets close to beating the world number 7 ranked player.
Errani on top form would take this in straight sets but I think she needs 3 to get past Bertens today.