The Madrid schedule is ABYSMAL.
1. Angelique Kerber v Svetlana Kuznetsova
Before some second round matches have even taken to the court, we will know our first Madrid quarter-finalist of 2013 as Angelique Kerber takes on Svetlana Kuznetsova for the second time this year. Kerber was a set and a break down in her first round match, but quietly came back to defeat Hsieh Su-Wei, 3-6 6-3 6-2. Kuznetsova had an all-Russian humdinger against Nadia Petrova today, battling through a well contested second round match, 7-6(2) 4-6 6-4. Kerber won their only previous match in Sydney, an entertaining two setter, which remains one of Kerber’s best performances this year. Kuznetsova is more at home on this surface, but I still think Kerber is more match tough right now and will make it into the quarter-finals.
Prediction – Kerber to beat Kuznetsova in 2 tight sets
2. Ana Ivanovic v Laura Robson
The one area of the Madrid schedule where I am not gritting my teeth is putting the third round match between Ana Ivanovic and Laura Robson up last on the Manolo Santana court; this is for purely selfish reasons because I’ll get to watch it! Robson’s year has been tough so far bar Australia, but she rejuvunated her clay court season with another great performance against a big player as she overpowered Aga Radwanska, 6-3 6-1. Ivanovic was down a set in her first match of the week to Bethanie Mattek-Sands, but she regrouped impressively and then tore past Chanelle Scheepers today, 6-2 6-2. Ivanovic is actually displaying some very good form right now having won two tough Fed Cup matches and pushing Maria Sharapova in a three set Stuttgart quarter. Robson loves the big stage and will probably start well, but an in-form Ivanovic will provide a far sterner test than Radwanska did…
Prediction – Ivanovic to beat Robson in 3 sets