WTA Stanford Preview

The American hard court season starts this week in Stanford with a relatively strong field headlined by Samantha Stosur and Elena Dementieva. Both Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina are competing in their first tournaments since recovering from injury. There are some tasty first round clashes including Ivanovic v Kleybanova, Safina v Date Krumm and Hantuchova v Peer.

1st Quarter – Stosur (1) v Wickmayer (7)
Stosur will open up her hard court campaign against a Qualifier in R2 after a bye so therefore looks likely to make the QF where she should meet Wickmayer who I expect to overcome Cibulkova, who struggled in Portoroz with relative ease.
Prediction = Stosur v Wickmayer

2nd Quarter – Bartoli (4) v Azarenka (8)
Bartoli will meet the winner of Kleybanova v Ivanovic so therefore I expect a tough challenge and one she will not overcome to retain her title with Kleybanova progressing. Azarenka should reach the QF knocking out Melanie Oudin on the way.
Prediction = Kleybanova v Azarenka

3rd Quarter – Peer (6) v Radwanska (3)
Shahar Peer opens up with a tough encounter against Daniela Hantuchova with the winner likely to face Maria Kirilenko. This is difficult one but i will go for Kirilenko to make it through. Radwanska should on paper have a very routine draw to the QF.
Prediction = Kirilenko v Radwanska

4th Quarter – Sharapova (5) v Dementieva (2)
This is the toughest QF match-up and would be a rematch of the 2009 Toronto final. Sharapova will have to overcome Jie Zheng who has beaten her this year but i expect her to scrape through this one in 3 sets. Dinara Safina is also in this section but i fancy her to struggle again against Kimiko Date Krumm leaving Dementieva to progress to the QF on her return from injury.
Prediction = Sharapova v Dementieva

In the top half, im going for Yanina Wickmayer to have a good tournament knocking out the number 1 seed in Stosur and then Azarenka in the Semis. The bottom half im going for Radwanska v Sharapova in the Semis with Maria having too much power for A-Rad. Im predicting Maria Sharapova will be crowned Stanford Champion starting her American hard court season in perfect fashion.

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