WTA San Diego Preview

After Victoria Azarenka laid down her credentials for the US Open title with a fantastic 6-4 6-1 victory over Maria Sharapova in the Stanford final, we now move onto San Diego where Jelena Jankovic and Sam Stosur headline the event and receive byes into R2. The tournament is littered with high quality first round matches with the likes of Rezai, Kuznetsova, Zvonareva, Petrova and Pennetta all making their first appearances on the hard courts since Wimbledon.

Quarter 1 – Jankovic (1) v Bartoli (6)
The winner of the hard hitting match between Rezai and Kleybanova will play Jankovic in R2. Both players have caused her some real problems in the past and i am predicting Jankovic will face an early upset as she is still troubled by a niggling ankle injury picked up in Portoroz. Rezai is the player likely to benefit with Kleybanova seriously struggling for form. Bartoli had an impressive win over Ivanovic at Stanford but an early encounter with the dangerous Hantuchova will cause her some problems. Hantuchova has had a lot of 3 set losses in recent weeks and i believe this will be her time to change her fortunes and have a solid run here.
Prediction – Rezai v Hantuchova

Quarter 2 – Radwanska (4) v Peer (7)
In this quarter, Alona Bondarenko will face off against out-of-form Dinara Safina in what should be a tasty encounter. Im still not convinced that Safina is there mentally so would see Bondarenko progressing to a match-up with Radwanska, who i believe will be too strong for her. Shahar Peer will have a tricky opener against wildcard Ana Ivanovic but i think she will overcome her. A more dangerous opponent in Nadia Petrova is likely in R2 who has a 5-0 head-to-head record over Peer.
Prediction – Radwanska v Petrova

Quarter 3 – Wickmayer (8) v Zvonareva (3)
Wickmayer looked on better form at Stanford but has yet to make a real breakthrough since her SF performance at the US Open last year. She will have a tricky opener against 2 time GS champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova. Zvonareva, in her first appearance since reaching the Wimbledon final will open against Dominika Cibulkova. Zvonareva should have too much Cibulkova and will feel confident of building on her success from Wimbledon.
Prediction – Wickmayer v Zvonareva

Quarter 4 – Pennetta (5) v Stosur (2)
Pennetta makes her first appearance on the hard courts since Wimbledon and is likely to face a tricky 2R match against Maria Kirilenko who reached the QF in Stanford. Stosur was due to face Azarenka in R2 however Azarenka has pulled out due to a shoulder injury so her likely opponent will be Melanie Oudin. With Azarenka out, Stosurs chance of pulling at least a QF showing have improved dramatically.
Prediction – Pennetta v Stosur

Stosur and Radwanska look to be the favourites for this title but it is extremely wide open with an overall strong draw yet lacking some of the top players. My outside tips for the title would come from one of Rezai, Hantuchova or Wickmayer.

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