Second round action at the Bank of the West Classic will conclude on Thursday with the top two seeds, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska, in action. In other news, it was announced today that Stanford is the first tournament where players and coaches are able to access real-time performance data during live match play. In a joint venture, the WTA and SAP SE have developed SAP® Tennis Analytics software for players and coaches. This means that they will be able to analyse performance during matches using WTA-authorised tablets and coaches will be able to use them during coaching timeouts on court… not sure how I feel about this! The software will also be available in Toronto, Wuhan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Zhuhai. Back to the tennis and here’s a pair of previews for Thursday…
1. Kimiko Date-Krumm v Karolina Pliskova (Stanford, R2)
Let’s all just take a moment to acknowledge how incredibly awesome Kimiko Date-Krumm is. Still playing tennis at 44 years old, Date-Krumm enjoyed her first WTA main draw win of 2015 on Tuesday as she came back from 6-1 4-1 down to defeat Sabine Lisicki, 1-6 7-6(4) 6-2. It was a poor result for Lisicki who is really struggling at the moment. Back in March it looked like things were turning around for with a series of encouraging displays at Indian Wells and Miami. However, she’s never really recovered from a 6-0 6-0 loss to Zarina Diyas at home in Stuttgart.
Date-Krumm plays Karolina Pliskova in the second round who will be playing her first match since a second round loss at Wimbledon. Pliskova’s had a great year and is set to break into the world’s top ten next week but her performances at the Slams have been disappointing. She is yet to reach the second week of Slam in her career. Pliskova and Date-Krumm’s last match was also in Stanford back in the first round where Pliskova won, 6-1 6-3. I’d expect a similar result as Pliskova is much more stable than Lisicki. Still, KDK = legend.
Prediction: Pliskova d. Date-Krumm in 2 sets
2. Caroline Wozniacki v Varvara Lepchenko (Stanford, R2)
Caroline Wozniacki will play her first match in Stanford on Thursday and if she is to win the title, the Dane will need to win four matches in four days. Wozniacki has been pictured with strapping on her leg but there are no indications that this will be a problem. This is Wozniacki’s first ever appearance in Stanford and she has a bucket load of points to defend over the next month so a decent result at the Bank of the West Classic should take some heat off her heading into the Canada-Cincy double.
Wozniacki’s first match will be against Varvara Lepchenko who snapped a six match losing streak to edge Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 3-6 6-2 7-6(4). Lucic-Baroni served for the match in the third set at *5-4 and was two points from the match before Lepchenko dug in to seal a huge win. It was a fun end to the match with the classic mix of big winners and… big unforced errors. You could see the relief on Varvara’s face at the end. Wozniacki leads the head-to-head with Lepchenko, 4-0 and won their last match in Miami, 6-0 6-1. This is the perfect time for Lepchenko to play Wozniacki with the Dane having not played since Wimbledon. I’d still take Wozniacki in straight sets though with perhaps a struggle in one of the sets.
Prediction: Wozniacki d. Lepchenko in 2 sets