An excellent field are heading to the indoor courts of Linz in Austria for what should be an exciting. The last week has been pretty disappointing in Beijing with sparse crowds throughout and so many withdrawals. A special mention though to Petkovic and Radwanska for an excellent final… I loved them doing the Petko dance in the post-match ceremony!!! You can see this at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEkkA6e60jc&feature=youtu.be. This really made me smile :)))
Back to Linz… Petra Kvitova has received a wild card into the tournament and will play Rebecca Marino in Round 1. Kvitova has been poor since winning her first grand slam, but I have high hopes for her this week. Her game is particularly suited to the fast indoor courts; she had a superb week back in February where she won on the indoor courts of Paris beating Kim Clijsters in the final. I was interested to hear that Kvitova dislikes the humidity and struggles with asthma, which affected her performance in China. The problems with humidity would certainly help to explain her indifferent performances in America this year with early exits before the Quarters in Indian Wells, Miami and Cincinnati. This week though Kvitova should be more at home and she is my pick for the title.
Kvitova is projected to meet Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals. Jankovic suffered early exits in both Tokyo and China and looks woefully short of confidence right now. She has a kind draw in Linz opening up against Kateryna Bondarenko and she should get a few wins under her belt. I expect her to face Julia Goerges in the quarter-finals who has failed to reach the heights of her stunning triumph in Stuttgart. A return to indoor courts could spark a resurgence and I actually think Goerges could do well here.. She beat JJ in Cincy so another win here (if they do in fact meet in the Quarters) is definitely on the cards.
In the bottom half, the two quarter-finals on seeding should be between Sabine Lisicki and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Dominika Cibulkova and Flavia Pennetta. I think Sabine will progress through this section but I think the home favourite, Tamira Paszek will also do well. Pennetta is coming off the back of an excellent week in China and has been helped out by being jumped up to number 9 seed and taking the injured Petkovic’s place in the draw.
Quarter Final Predictions:
Kvitova – Pervak
Jankovic – Goerges
Lisicki – Paszek
Cibulkova – Pennetta