2011 Sony Ericsson Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 4
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) vs. Andrea Petkovic (GER)
This is the first career meeting between these two young stars. Petkovic has had a good season, reaching the quarters of the Aussie Open and she was also a finalist at Brisbane. She is a tall girl who can really crush the ball, she moves well and she has a great personality. She is one of the upcoming stars and she will not be afraid of Wozniacki. She played great in her last match, taking down Iveta Benesova 6-0, 6-3. She has the game to push Wozniacki, but does she have the consistency? Wozniacki drives her opponents crazy because she gets to the extra ball and she also can hit winners from anywhere on the court. Her serve is attackable, but she doesn’t let that affect her at all. I look for a tough two set win for Wozniacki.
Nick’s Pick – Wozniacki in 2 sets
Sam Stosur (AUS) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Sharapova is 6-0 against Stosur, but they haven’t met since 2009. When you look at these two ladies, they are both fierce competitors. Stosur is the better mover and her serve is bigger, but Sharapova probably gets more on her groundstrokes and has the ability to turn it on and really take it to her opponent. I know the ranking is in favor of Stosur, but I like the way Sharapova is playing and I think she can pull off the upset. If she is able to handle Stosur’s serve and she doesn’t have any serving issues of her own, I think she will win. I am really excited to watch this match, and I think this is definitely a must-see match.
Nick’s Pick – Sharapova in 3 sets
Vera Zvonareva (RUS) vs. Marion Bartoli (FRA)
Zvonareva is 8-2 against Bartoli, but they haven’t met since 2009. Bartoli is playing great tennis right now, having just reached the finals at Indian Wells and she dispensed of Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 6-2 in her last match. She takes it to her opponents from the outset and she doesn’t relent at all. Her unorthodox style of using two hands on both sides makes her tricky to play as well. Zvonareva is looking extremely fit and she is also playing really well also. She beat Safina and then took down the 28th seed, Jarmilla Groth in the third round. She is certainly capable of winning this tournament and the only thing standing in her way is herself. I see this match going three sets and I have to give a slight edge to Bartoli based on the way she is playing as of late, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zvonareva win this as well.
Nick’s Pick – Bartoli in 3 sets
Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
Clijsters is 3-0 against Ivanovic and beat her twice in 2010 (including a win at the US Open). Clijsters was tested in her third round match against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, but she was able to up her play in the third set. She slipped back behind the baseline a bit and that is what hurt her. Ivanovic is certainly playing better tennis than she was a year ago, she is serving well and her groundstrokes are excellent. I just don’t think she has the firepower to push Clijsters around right now. If Clijsters doesn’t get pushed behind the baseline she is very difficult to beat and as long as that shoulder is healthy, it is going to be hard to pick against her. This should be a very entertaining match though!
Nick’s Pick – Clijsters in 2 sets