WTA Beijing, 2nd Round Preview for Tuesday: Bouchard v Lisicki, Petkovic v Keys

Monday in Beijing saw two notable results: Serena Williams recovered from a 5-0 first set deficit and multiple set points to somehow overcome Silvia Soler-Espinosa in straight sets, 7-5 6-2.  Alize Cornet also had another excellent win in this Asian Swing as she defeated Jelena Jankovic in three sets, 7-5 3-6 6-4 in two hours and 39 minutes.  I was following this match on the live scoreboard and oh boy, were there a lot of twists and turns?! The majority of second round matches will be played on Tuesday.  Here’s my top three to watch…

1. Eugenie Bouchard v Sabine Lisicki (WTA Beijing, R2)

LisickiSabine Lisicki won through her first round match against the Chinese wildcard, Xu Shilin in three sets to set up a second rounder with the Wuhan finalist, Eugenie Bouchard.  Lisicki didn’t look herself; she had her blood pressure checked in the second set and looked ill, barely offering a wave as she thanked the crowd at the end.  Xu played some excellent tennis in the first set, but faded away at a rather rapid pace.  There have been some very impressive performances from the Chinese players during this Asian Swing and with the Li Na effect in motion, I do believe the top ten in five or ten years time will be dominated by China.

Back to this match… this will be a first career match-up between the pair.  I don’t think either player will be at their best.  Lisicki will have had a day off to get better, meanwhile Bouchard could be fatigued after her run to the final in Wuhan.  Despite losing in the final to Petra Kvitova, Bouchard should have gained some confidence from her performances in Wuhan.  Lisicki has been playing better of late, but her serve remains an issue and Bouchard, with a couple of days rest, should have enough in the tank and greater consistency to pull out the win.

Prediction: Bouchard d. Lisicki in 2 sets

2. Andrea Petkovic v Madison Keys (WTA Beijing, R2)

KeysAndrea Petkovic and Madison Keys both saved match points to set up a second round encounter in Beijing.  Keys came from 5-3* down in the deciding set to beat good friend, Alison Riske.  It was a tough loss for Riske; she hit one poor error in trying to serve out the match, but Keys also hit a number of winners.  Petkovic had an even more dramatic match as she saved three match points and came from numerous breaks down in the match to defeat Monica Niculescu, 2-6 7-6(8) 6-4.  Niculescu was coming in confident having won Guangzhou and two rounds of qualifying in Beijing, but Petkovic’s spirit was really impressive.  Two of the match points she saved were on exhausting rallies.

This will be a first career match-up between Keys and Petkovic.  I don’t think either player was anywhere close to their best in the first round, but both showed character to secure the win.  Keys especially, has not pushed on since winning Eastbourne.  I believe a good tournament for her is just around the corner and this could be it.

Prediction: Keys d. Petkovic in 3 tight sets

3. Maria Sharapova v Elina Svitolina (WTA Beijing, R2)

SharapovaAfter reaching the semi-finals of Wuhan, Elina Svitolina was given a first round bye in Beijing.  We were therefore, presented with a situation where Maria Sharapova had to win a match to set up a tie with Svitolina! Sharapova did just that, overcoming Kaia Kanepi in straight sets, 6-4 6-1.  On paper, it was a tough match for Maria and particularly so with her recent form.  After a reasonably close first set, Sharapova motored through the second set to record her fourth consecutive victory against Kanepi.

Svitolina is having a very solid year as she continues her push to crack the top 30.  After winning her second title in Baku, Svitolina reached the quarter-finals of Cincinnati and last week, the semi-finals of Wuhan.  In her run to the last four, Svitolina defeated Camila Giorgi, Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber all in straight sets.  Svitolina has a consistent game, but if Sharapova plays clean match, then I don’t see this match being tagged with an upset alert.

Prediction: Sharapova d. Svitolina in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

WTA Beijing 2nd Round Predictions

Serena Williams d. Tsvetana Pironkova in 2 sets (who knows?)

Simona Halep d. Zhu Lin in 2 sets

Agnieszka Radwanska d. Roberta Vinci in 2 sets

Ana Ivanovic d. Romina Oprandi in 2 sets

Angelique Kerber d. Zarina Diyas in 3 sets

Flavia Pennetta d. Carla Suarez Navarro in 3 sets

Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Kurumi Nara in 2 sets

Ekaterina Makarova d. Polona Hercog in 2 very tight sets

Lucie Safarova d. Mona Barthel in 3 sets

10 thoughts on “WTA Beijing, 2nd Round Preview for Tuesday: Bouchard v Lisicki, Petkovic v Keys

  1. Mona barthel and mandy Minella are lucky losers in doubles,,..and as lucky losers often do, have won a match.
    singles: Can Mona beat Lucie?: yes…will she? dont know

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    • Just before I had a shower, Mona was like 4-2 down in the final set to BMS and then I came back, checked my phone and she had won! I was pleasantly surprised. Mona and Lucie are in my top five of favourites so i’ll be happy whoever wins. I agree, Mona’s got a real shot. Lucie is definitely the more consistent player right now.

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  2. so happy that I’m finally able to watch at least some tennis. haven’t done it in a while 😦 concerning your three picks of the day, I think there will be an upset, but I’m unsure whether it’s Sharapova or Bouchard going out. And as much as I want Petko to win I think Madison will come through.
    I love your “who knows” btw… always a big question mark for Serena these days. I think her age, her numerous years on tour and her exhausting 2013 finally take their troll on her?!..as you said: who knows 😉 and how could you decide between Lucie and Mona???? you like them both don’t you? I’m slightly for Mona, still have hope she will be able to make the most out of her talent. As I’m also doing sports myself it’s so frustrating for me to see people not fulfilling their potential such as Makarova, Barthel, probably Pavs or Tomic compared to those people that are not that gifted but making the most out of it (e.g. Kerber or Ferrer)

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    • Serena’s match today was bizarre! She looked upset or angry coming onto court and had to will herself out of a stinking mood. Physically she looked perfect though and if she can keep her personal life off the court she should have this tournament in the bag.

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    • Glad you are able to watch some tennis again, Murphy! The Asian Swing is a bit of a nightmare for me as it all happens when I am at work. I do like both Lucie and Mona, well done for remembering! Lucie’s probably my favourite player right now and Mona is somewhere in my top five. I’ll be happy whoever wins.

      In terms of fulfilling potential, I agree with all the names you have mentioned apart from Makarova. She’s had a pretty super year although I think she can go higher in the rankings if she sets her mind to it. Pavs is another one that is very frustrating. I’ve always felt she is one of the cleanest ball strikers on tour, but her serve and general brain lets her down. I live in hope that she will figure it out one day before it’s too late.

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  3. I can’t believe Kuzenetsova and Nara are playing AGAIN. Three times in the space of a couple of months…
    Anyway tomorrow is a tough one to call because on paper it doesn’t look like any of the seeded players should be troubled by their opponents, but how often do we have a day where they all manage to make it through?
    I think of them all…Sharapova is the most likely to be upset. She’s not on particularly good form and Svitolina is playing inspired tennis of late. She’s already got a handful of scalps this year including Kvitova, Kerber and Bouchard.

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    • I don’t agree about the Sharapova upset, but i’ll eat my words tomorrow when she loses! What happened with Serena?! I was following the scoreline at work with my mouth wide open! I expected her to retire injured based on just the scoreline.

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      • I think there is some upset potential in the Sharapova match. These days I always expect to see Maria dropping the first set, though she usually battles back in style. Unless Maria plays a shocker, I think holding serve enough times to keep her at bay will be a problem for Svitolina.

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