This week there are three International WTA events in Acapulco, Florianopolis and Kuala Lumpur.
Venus Williams headlines the line-up for a new WTA event in Florianopolis, Brazil on hard courts. The rest of the draw is pretty sub-standard so Venus will fancy her chances of taking her second title since making her comeback to the tour last year in Miami. Venus is projected to meet Memphis semi-finalist, Magdalena Rybarikova in the quarters and then the number 3 seed, Kirsten Flipkens in the semi-finals. Yaroslava Shvedova bookends the draw, but she has been in terrible form this year and seems incapable of converting winning positions in her matches. Shvedova takes on Melinda Czink in the first round and could meet the improving, Kristina Mladenovic in the quarter-finals. Chanelle Scheepers and Anabel Medina Garrigues are the two remaining seeds making up the Florianopolis draw.
1st Round Predictions – V.Williams to beat Lucic in 2 sets, Rybarikova to beat Date-Krumm in 3 sets, Niculescu to beat Medina Garrigues in 3 sets and Czink to beat Shvedova in 2 tight sets
QF Predictions – V.Williams/Rybarikova, Flipkens/Cepelova, Niculescu/Savinykh and Mladenovic/Czink
|Final Prediction – V.Williams d. Mladenovic|
WTA Kuala Lumpur
The line-up for Kuala Lumpur this year rivals that of Tashkent from last year as the world number 99, Kristyna Pliskova makes it into the draw as the number eight seed. The draw does feature Caroline Wozniacki, but it has been significantly padded out with players residing outside of top 100. Wozniacki’s first test is likely to come in the semi-finals where she could meet Ayumi Morita, who has claimed some impressive wins in 2013 so far. In the bottom half, Hsieh Su-Wei and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova are the highest seeds and could meet in the semi-finals. Wozniacki should be a shoe-in for the title, but if Pavlyuchenkova can win her first match since the beginning of January and find her form again, she could upstage Wozniacki if they both reach the final.
1st Round Predictions – Pliskova to beat Dellacqua in 3 sets, Pavlyuchenkova to beat Dushevina in 3 sets, Vekic to beat Mattek-Sands in 3 sets and Hsieh to beat Nara in 2 sets
QF Predictions – Wozniacki/Doi, Morita/Qualifier, Pliskova/Pavlyuchenkova and Vekic/Hsieh
|Final Prediction – Wozniacki d. Pavlyuchenkova
I am away from my computer this weekend so will post my full draw predictions on Monday evening.