WTA Luxembourg, Moscow 2nd Round Matches: Barthel v Niculescu, Pennetta v Giorgi

Moscow and Luxembourg are well under way with quite a few typical end-of-season results.  Most notably, a visibly upset Andrea Petkovic was knocked out of Luxembourg by Pauline Parmentier in straight sets.  In other news, Juan Martin del Potro officially announced he won’t be back until 2015, which was a smart move.  Women’s Tennis Blog will have live photographic coverage from Luxembourg courtesy of Jimmie48 so make sure you check out their site this week HERE.  Also, another heads up that Moo’s Tennis Blog is on Facebook! You can like my page HERE.

1. Mona Barthel v Monica Niculescu (Luxembourg, R2)

Niculescu

Luxembourg’s most interesting match of the day will feature Mona Barthel and Monica Niculescu.  Barthel won her first match of the week against doubles partner, Mandy Minella, 6-3 6-4.  Playing in front of her home crowd, Minella managed to fight back from *4-1 to *4-3, but Barthel closed out the match at the first time of asking.  Mona is not the most confident closer, but held to 15 in the final game of the match.   Niculescu has been in excellent form of late, winning her 2nd WTA title in Guangzhou a few weeks ago.  She defeated Antonia Lottner in the first round.  Niculescu has had great success in Luxembourg, reaching the final in both 2011 and 2012.

Two scenarios for this match: Barthel blows Niculescu off the court… or, more likely, Niculescu takes advantage of Barthel’s lack of patience and explosions in the brain, and wins this comfortably.  The H2H stands at 1-1 with Niculescu winning their last match in Hobart earlier this year.  If Niculescu wins the first set, she will win.  However I’m taking a risky move (heart over head?!) and backing Mona indoors.  Confidence in this pick? Low!

Prediction: Barthel d. Niculescu in 2 sets

2. Flavia Pennetta v Camila Giorgi (Moscow, R2)

GiorgiThe finalist from Linz, Camila Giorgi will take on fellow Italian, Flavia Pennetta in a mouthwatering second round match in Moscow, which won’t start before 5pm in the UK.  For the second time in a WTA final, Giorgi was unable to convert on a match point, losing out to Karolina Pliskova in a third set tiebreak.  It is worth nothing though that she came back from a 5-1 deficit in that set.  Giorgi’s ball striking abilities and raw power are pretty awesome, but her inability to show any kind of restraint or “Plan B” is frustrating.  In her first match in Moscow, she comfortably saw off Lesia Tsurenko, 6-0 6-3.  Although this match will be on Giorgi’s plate, it will also depend on whether Pennetta cares about fighting for a title this week.  Pennetta is a smart enough player to take advantage of some of Giorgi’s weaknesses.  In their last match, Pennetta defeated Giorgi, 6-2 6-1 at Indian Wells earlier this year.  I’d take Pennetta, but i’m always wary going against Giorgi…

Prediction: Pennetta d. Giorgi in 3 sets

WTA Luxembourg 2nd Round Predictions

Pauline Parmentier d. Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in 3 sets

Roberta Vinci d. Annika Beck in 2 tight sets

Sabine Lisicki d. Denisa Allertova in 2 sets

Jana Cepelova d. Varvara Lepchenko in 3 sets

Polona Hercog d. Johanna Larsson in 2 sets

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova d. Alison Van Utyvanck in 2 sets

Alize Cornet d. Kiki Bertens in 2 sets

WTA Moscow 2nd Round Predictions

Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Kateryna Kozlova in 2 sets

Lucie Safarova d. Ajla Tomljanovic in 3 sets

Ekaterina Makarova d. Irina-Camelia Begu in 2 sets

ATP Moscow 2nd Round Predictions

Marin Cilic d. Evgeny Donskoy in 2 sets

Roberto Bautista Agut d. Sam Groth in 2 tight sets

Ivan Dodig d. Andreas Seppi in 3 sets

ATP Stockholm 2nd Round Predictions

Kevin Anderson d. Bernard Tomic in 3 sets

Grigor Dimitrov d. Teymuraz Gabashvili in 2 tight sets

ATP Vienna 2nd Round Predictions

Ivo Karlovic d. Jurgen Melzer in 3 sets

8 thoughts on “WTA Luxembourg, Moscow 2nd Round Matches: Barthel v Niculescu, Pennetta v Giorgi

  1. Its mision imposibile to predict tenis match in form giorgi you goinn on peneta zmmmmm,,,melzer can easy beat. giant karloviv,,, dodig sepi dont tuch this,,,kuznoceva beat who cares

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  2. I’m surprisingly good at predicting coin tosses :p
    I’m going for Giorgi in straight sets.
    Makarova, for the most part (in the set i’ve seen at least), has played a pretty terrible match against Begu. Credit Begu for serving well and playing solid, but she really hasn’t had to do much. Makarova looks completely devoid of confidence.

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