WTA Stuttgart 2nd Round Predictions: Jankovic-Lisicki, Kerber-Pavlyuchenkova, Goerges-Kvitova

Tomorrow is truly a feast of excellent second round matches to look forward too in Stuttgart…
1. Jelena Jankovic v Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki
The highest seeded upset on day two saw the Jelena Jankovic from Miami and Charleston, turn up in Stuttgart too with a very solid 6-4 6-4 win over the number 6 seed, Sam Stosur.  Stosur repeatedly saved break points on her serve in the second set, but Jankovic did not get distracted and served out the match at the first time of asking.  Her second round opponent will be Sabine Lisicki, who played one of her better matches of late to post a 6-3 6-4 victory over the Italian qualifier, Nastassja Burnett.  The Germans always seem to do well at this tournament and Lisicki is the type of player that can feed off a supportive crowd on the big stage.  

Jankovic has the edge in their head-to-head with three wins although all three matches, including a previous encounter in Stuttgart, went the distance.  This should be a really entertaining match and although I could see Lisicki having the potential to nick it, I think she will be too streaky for a surprisingly solid JJ at the minute…

Prediction – Jankovic to beat Lisicki in 2 tight sets 

2. Angelique Kerber v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
The only seeded German player, Angelique Kerber faces a very tough opener in Stuttgart against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.  The Russian player has been something of a mystery this year with a title in Monterrey, a runner-up showing in Brisbane and a string of first round exits at the tournaments that really count.  Pavlyuchenkova had an excellent win over Ekaterina Makarova in round one, coming from a set down to prevail, 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4.  It was not a pretty performance at all, but these types of wins are paramount to confidence.  Pavlyuchenkova has beaten Kerber twice this year including a three set win in the Monterrey final where Pav just about hung on to the win.  Clay is the Russian’s best surface and although Kerber was terrific in Stuttgart last year, I fancy Pavlyuchenkova to carve out the upset…
Prediction – Pavlyuchenkova to beat Kerber in 3 sets

3. Petra Kvitova v Julia Goerges
Julia Goerges
A big hitting second rounder is on the cards between Petra Kvitova and Julia Goerges.  Kvitova had her hands full with another German today, the young and talented, Annika Beck.  Kvitova lost the second set, but rebounded well to pull home a 7-5 6-7(0) 6-3 victory.  Goerges was playing very well when her first round opponent, Kirsten Flipkens retired at 6-2 2-1.  Goerges won here in 2011 beating Sam Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki on her way to the title so she will always be a danger at this tournament.  Kvitova was well below her best so a zoning Goerges will be a big threat in this one.  They played on this same court in Fed Cup last year, which Kvitova won 10-8 in the third set.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this was another long one…

Prediction – Kvitova to beat Goerges in 3 sets

4. Ana Ivanovic v Nadia Petrova
Straight set wins on the first day of action saw Ana Ivanovic and Nadia Petrova set up a second round encounter in Stuttgart.  Ivanovic eased past Andrea Petkovic, 6-3 6-2 with a solid, yet unspectacular performance against a still-returning-to-full-fitness opponent; the Serb has now won three matches on these courts having beaten Mona Barthel and Angelique Kerber in Fed Cup action at the weekend.  Petrova overcame a highly respectable effort from the young German, Dinah Pfizenmaier with a 7-6(2) 6-4 victory.  Petrova and Ivanovic have met many times on the WTA tour with Ivanovic leading the head-to-head by 8 wins to 5, which includes three wins on the clay in the last three years.  Ivanovic is looking at home here and I think she will have too much game for Petrova.

Prediction – Ivanovic to beat Petrova in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: womens 2nd round predictions

Maria Sharapova to beat Lucie Safarova in 2 tight sets
Carla Suarez Navarro to beat Yaroslava Shvedova in 3 sets
Sara Errani to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 2 sets
Li Na to beat Mirjana Lucic in 2 tight sets

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