2011 Australian Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles 2nd Round
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) vs. Vania King (USA)
There have been a lot of questions about Wozniacki heading into the tournament (new racket, didn’t play well in lead-up events), but she put those to bed with a 6-3, 6-4 win over a tough opponent, Gisela Dulko, in the opening round. She was moving well and had only 15 unforced errors. This was a very positive sign for the young Dane.
King took down Tamira Paszek in three sets in the opening round and is into the second round for the second consecutive year. A win here would clearly be one of the biggest of her career and would put her into the third round of a Grand Slam for only the second time.
Wozniacki is 1-0 against King with that win coming at Indian Wells last year. King is feisty, moves well and is a fighter. The problem is that Wozniacki does all of that and she hits with more power from both sides. I don’t think King can hurt Wozniacki at all and I look for her to advance.
Nick’s Pick – Wozniacki in 2 sets
Justine Henin (BEL) vs. Elena Baltacha (GBR)
I was interested to watch Henin in the opening round because she hasn’t played in so long. I didn’t think she was hitting the ball as well as she has in the past and it showed as she needed three sets to beat Sania Mirza. Baltacha is the top ranked British female in the world (#55) and with that comes a ton of pressure.
This match is all about Henin. Coming back from an injury is never easy, but if anyone can do it, she can. The two have never faced before so this will be interesting. I will be looking for more out of her in this match and I want to see how she deals with the pounding groundstrokes of Baltacha. I look for Henin to advance, but I am more interested to see how she is playing.
Nick’s Pick – Henin in 2 sets
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) vs. Shuai Peng (CHN)
Jankovic looked like she was going to cruise in her first round match against Kudryavtseva, but she found herself in a fight in the second set. She went down a couple breaks but managed to battle back and win in straight sets. Now, she gets a tough opponent in Shuai Peng. Lucky for her, the two have faced seven times previously and she has won six of those matches.
Peng hits the ball well from both sides and doesn’t make many errors. She beat one of the flying Bondarenko sisters in the first round in three sets and that’s a good win. If Jankovic can keep herself focused and have confidence in her shots she will win this match. If Peng is able to keep her off-balance by taking the ball early I can see this going three sets. I look for Jankovic to advance in two tough sets.
Nick’s Pick – Jankovic in 2 sets
Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
Wow! I expected Clijsters to beat Safina, but not double bagel her. She won the match in 44 minutes and didn’t even face a break point. She is definitely playing extremely well and Safina continues to struggle mightily. This will be the first time she faces the tricky Spaniard.
Suarez Navarro needed three sets to beat Christina McHale in the opening round and isn’t off to a great start in 2011. She lost in the second round of Auckland and the first round in Hobart. If she could pull off this upset, I would be very surprised. I look for Clijsters to put constant pressure on both the forehand and backhand of Suarez Navarro and it won’t take her long to pick on her serve either.
Nick’s Pick – Clijsters in 2 sets