2013 first week round-up: Auckland, The Hopman Cup and more!

This first week has been completely hectic with seven tournaments taking place.  I love that we have live tennis once more but do we need this much going on?! I am struggling to keep up! Here is a round-up from all the remaining tournaments…

Agnieszka Radwanska

WTA Auckland:

Three seeds remain in Auckland and all three have made it this far without dropping a set.  Yanina Wickmayer, who loves Auckland if her recent results in New Zealand are anything to go by, now takes on Mona Barthel, who has looked equally awesome this week displaying the kind of form that saw her triumph in Hobart.  I think this could be a great match; their last encounter in Paris was a whisker away from making my top 20 favourite matches in 2012. The second semi-final will see the number one seed, Agnieszka Radwanska play Jamie Hampton, who has had a career best week making her first WTA semi-final.

Radwanska to beat Hampton in 2 tight sets
Barthel to beat Wickmayer in 3 sets

WTA Shenzhen:
The inaugural tournament in China has been spearheaded by the Chinese players as Li Na and Peng Shuai are set to clash in the first of tomorrow’s semi-finals.  Peng saved a match point in winning a tight three setter with young Annika Beck, who had an excellent tournament, thrashing Hsieh Su-Wei in the second round.  The second semi-final will see Klara Zakopalova take on Monica Niculescu; the crafty Romanian took out Laura Robson in round two, meanwhile Zakopalova rather comfortably beat Marion Bartoli, 6-3 6-2.  I will still be shocked to see Li not win this title…

Li to beat Peng in 2 sets
Zakopalova to beat Niculescu in 3 sets

ATP Doha:
Doha has had its moments this week; David Ferrer tried to destroy the Doha court in his first match against Dustin Brown, meanwhile Gael Monfils became victim of the new time violation rule and argued with the umpire that he took longer because “I‘m black, so I sweat alot”.  I must admit that I have only watched bits of the action, but both David Ferrer and Richard Gasquet, although tested (Gasquet was 5-2 down in the third set to Grigor Zemlja yesterday), should make the final.  Ferrer has been improving each round and takes on a resurgent Nikolay Davydenko, meanwhile Gasquet takes on the unseeded, Daniel Brands.

Ferrer to beat Davydenko in 2 tight sets
Gasquet to beat Brands in 2 sets

Never seen this happen before!

ATP Brisbane:
Grigor Dimitrov

The top two seeds, Andy Murray and Milos Raonic, both struggled in their first matches today with Murray edging past Australian wildcard Josh Millman in three sets and Raonic losing his first match to Grigor Dimitrov, who was 100% on first serve points during the match.  Dimitrov now takes on Jurgen Melzer, meanwhile Murray will play Denis Istomin.  The other two quarter-finals could easily go the distance; Alexandr Dolgopolov/Kei Nishikori should be frantic, meanwhile a battle between Marcos Baghdatis and Gilles Simon should be very competitive…

Murray to beat Istomin in 2 very tight sets
Nishikori to beat Dolgopolov in 2 sets
Simon to beat Baghdatis in 3 sets
Dimitrov to beat Melzer in 2 sets
The Hopman Cup:
There have been some notable results at this year’s Hopman Cup, predominatly from team Australia.  The wild child himself, Bernard Tomic scored a big win over Novak Djokovic, 6-4 6-4.  Australia just came up second best in that tie, but were victorious in today’s match against Italy with Ashleigh Barty‘s 6-0 6-3 trouncing of Francesca Schiavone, one of the most eye-popping results of late.  Venus Williams won all three of her singles matches, two of them from a set behind, but her tournament ended when John Isner was forced to pull out with a knee injury.  Spain have the made the final and are likely to be joined by Serbia.

ATP Chennai Predictions:
Tomas Berdych to beat Ricardo Bautista-Agut in 2 sets
Marin Cilic to beat Benoit Paire in 3 sets
Stan Wawrinka to beat Aijaz Bedene in 2 tight sets
Janko Tipsarevic to beat Go Soeda in 2 sets

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