WTA Paris, Pattaya City: Preview and Predictions

Two WTA tournaments will take centre stage next week with two of the world’s top tenSara Errani and Petra Kvitova opting to play in Paris.  The Adidas quartet of Ana Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko, Sorana Cirstea and Daniela Hantuchova will all be in Pattaya City.  Lets take a look a the draws…

WTA Paris:
Sara Errani
The indoor tournament in Paris has attracted a solid line-up and will be fully televised on Eurosport this week.  I found it very hard to call this one because there are many out-of-form and unpredictable players in the draw.  Sara Errani will look to put a first round exit at the Australian Open behind her although on the fast indoor hard courts, she is unlikely to be the favourite.  She  plays a qualifier in round two and could meet her conqueror in Melbourne, Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarter-finals although the Spaniard will have to beat the seed in her section, Klara Zakopalova 
Dominika Cibulkova and Lucie Safarova are the two highest seeds in the section section and are possible semi-final opponents for Errani.  Marion Bartoli fought her way to the final here last year, but she will stiff opposition to make it there in 2013.  Roberta Vinci is her first projected seed in the draw at the quarter-final stage, but Mona Barthel will be a dangerous thorn in this section, particularly as she beat Bartoli in straight sets last year on the fast indoor clay of Stuttgart.  
The final section is where the early fireworks should be had.  The highlight of the first round matches pits two finalists from the first-week-of-2013 tournaments, Yanina Wickmayer and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.  The winner is likely to play the number 7 seed, Julia Goerges in round two.  My bold prediction is that I think the winner of that first round match will go onto win the tournament… its a really tough one, but I am edging towards Wickmayer.  Petra Kvitova has looked way short of form in 2013 so I am pleased to see her accept a late wildcard.  She has a tough draw, but she did win here in 2011, beating Kim Clijsters in the final and her strengths are certainly accentuated on the fast, indoor courts.
Round one predictions: Zakopalova to beat Medina Garrigues in 3 sets, Hradecka to beat Paszek in 2 sets, Vinci to beat Halep in 2 sets, Barthel to beat Radwanska in 3 sets, Parmentier to beat McHale in 3 sets and Wickmayer to beat Pavlyuchenkova in 3 sets.

Full draw predictions HERE

Final Prediction – Wickmayer to beat Cibulkova
WTA Pattaya City
Heather Watson
Ana Ivanovic will be the favourite in Pattaya City to claim her first title since the season ender in Bali back in 2011.  She faces a potentially tricky opener against Ayumi Morita, who did well to make the third round in Melbourne.  Daniela Hantuchova, who plays Olga Puchkova in the first round, could await in the quarters; Hantuchova’s best days seem to be well behind her, but she is the defending champion and has a good record here so I think she will make the quarters.

Sabine Lisicki is back in action following a disappointing first round loss in Melbourne where she had a surprise win over Caroline Wozniacki in her grasp.  Her form has been extremely unpredictable so I do not expect much from the German.  Annika Beck, who I have tipped to have a strong 2013, could play Hsieh Su-Wei in the second round.  The young German will fancy another win following a trouncing over Hsieh when they last played in Shenzhen.

Heather Watson has a very favourable draw in Pattaya City.  She plays Timea Babos in the first round, who has not won a WTA mian draw match since August.  Sorana Cirstea is her projected quarter-final opponent and she has a mental edge over the Romanian having won a humdinger in Miami last year where Watson clawed her way back from a 5-0 third set deficit.  Watson claimed a win in Auckland too although Cirstea was forced to retire in that match.  The final section should see an all-Russian quarter-final between Elena Vesnina and Maria Kirilenko.  Kirilenko leads the head-to-head 3-0, but Vesnina is in the form of her life having won her first career title in Hobart and making the round of 16 in Melbourne.

Round one predictions: Ivanovic to beat Morita in 2 sets, Date-Krumm to beat Scheepers in 3 sets, Hantuchova to beat Puchkova in 3 sets, Lisicki to beat Malek in 2 sets and Vesnina to beat Daniilidou in 2 sets

Full draw predictions HERE

Final Prediction – Ivanovic to beat Watson

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