Agnieszka Radwanska and Jelena Jankovic headline next week’s BMW Malaysian Open with both receiving late wildcards into the event. The quality of the draw is not particularly strong and it seems a shrewd move from both Radwanska and Jankovic to scoop easy ranking points. Radwanska opens up her campaign against Akgul Amanmuradova and based on her recent form, she should waltz through the draw. Her projected quarter-final opponent is Anne Keothavong who she eased past in Doha two weeks ago. In the second section of the draw, the Australian pair of Jarmila Gajdosova and Jelena Dokic are projected to clash in the quarter-finals. Dokic won this tournament last year but has looked well short of form lately, as has Gajdosova who looks just as error-strewn in 2012 as she did in 2011. I would expect a surprise semi-finalist for Radwanska… i’m going for Sania Mirza followed by a back-up punt of Kristina Mladenovic, who is Dokic’s first round opponent.
In the bottom half of the draw, Jelena Jankovic will face Caroline Garcia in the first round. Garcia is a promising junior player who nearly caused the upset of 2011 when she led Maria Sharapova by a set and a break in the 2nd round of Roland Garros. She has since struggled for form and lost a lot of tight matches, but remains one to watch out for. On paper, Jankovic has a straightforward draw with Ayumi Morita her projected seed in the quarter-finals. She could face a much sterner test in the semi-finals against either Peng Shuai or Petra Martic. Peng looked much sharper in Dubai this week beating Marion Bartoli in the first round. I think if she can get through her opening matches, she can give Jankovic a good test. Peng did in fact beat Jankovic in their previous encounter at the 2011 Australian Open… but of course, I am getting way ahead of myself here. One thing I have learnt is not to look too far ahead in WTA draws because upsets are VERY likely 🙂
The second tournament this week is taking place in Acapulco on the clay. The draw has yet to be done, but will feature the likes of Roberta Vinci, Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani, Ksenia Pervak and Memphis champion, Sofia Arvidsson.
|Peng is my predicted finalist|
Tips for Kuala Lumpur
Final Prediction – Radwanska d. Peng
The only thing that will stop Radwanska will be her fitness because she can beat every player in this draw. If Peng can get through her first couple of matches unscathed, she will be dangerous this week. She has struggled with long-term injury problems so I hope that she can remain injury free throughout this week.
Watch out for… Sania Mirza
The second quarter is anyone’s for the taking but i’m predicting Mirza to have a surprise run to the semi-finals. She has been in great form in the doubles so perhaps she can transfer this to the singles.
*NEW* – I have added a new feature to my blog for this week… as you will see, I love to predict what is going to happen at every tournament and you can now view my full predictions for Kuala Lumpur (and when the draw is released, Acapulco too). I plan to update this feature every week to include the current tournaments and they can be accessed from the links within the relevant posts and at the top of the page.