2010 Sony Ericsson Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 3
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
I ran into Ivanovic just a couple of days ago in Miami and I spoke to her and her coach and she seemed to be in great spirits. I told her to keep fighting and that if she ever wanted to come to the Academy to train she was more than welcome. Her struggles over the last year have been well documented, but I think it’s just a matter of time before she breaks out of it.
Radwanska comes into the tournament ranked #9 in the world and she is playing excellent tennis. She reached the semis of Dubai back in February and then advanced to the semis of Indian Wells last week, beating Dulko, Bartoli and Dementieva along the way. She’s been to the fourth round of Miami two out of the last three years.
Ivanovic is 3-1 against Radwanska, but in their only meeting last year Radwanska won in three sets. I certainly don’t think that Ivanovic is lacking the ammunition to win matches, but when you start losing like she has and people start piling up on you the mind has a way of playing tricks on you and I really believe that it is all mental for her. Radwanska certainly has the edge on paper and because of her extreme consistency she is extremely difficult to beat. Radwanska doesn’t have any huge weapons, but she does have great lateral quickness and the ability to get to an extra ball or two which will frustrate Ivanovic. If I was Ivanovic’s coach I would tell her to throw caution to the win, play the game and just enjoy it. She needs to go for her shots and she will be fine. I have to give the edge to Radwanska, but it will not be easy.
Nick’s Pick – Radwanska in 3 sets
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) vs. Elena Vesnina (RUS)
Jankovic is traveling with IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy tennis director Chip Brooks and they are off to a great start. Jankovic won Indian Wells last week and she looked very good in her second round victory over Mariya Koryttseva. She is playing with a ton of confidence and I like her chances of making a deep run in Miami. If she continues to play like this, it won’t be long before she finds herself back inside the top 5.
Vesnina took out Julia Goerges in the second round and comes into the tournament ranked #34 in the world. Her best result here came back in 2008 when she reached the fourth round before falling to Justine Henin in straight sets.
Jankovic is 4-0 against Vesnina and beat her twice last year. Vesnina is a solid player who hits the ball well from both sides. She serves well and really can cover the court. What she doesn’t have is a weapon that can really hurt Jankovic. Having said that, Jankovic has to hit the ball early, take it on the rise and control the court from the outset. She cannot let Vesnina’s consistency affect her rhythm because that is where things can go a little haywire. With Chip now at Jankovic’s side, he really provides her with a solid coaching base that will be a big help throughout the tournament. I look for a fast start from Jankovic and as always she will put on a show.
Nick’s Pick – Jankovic in 2 sets