by Karen and Master Ace
Day 6 Review
What a day, Day 6 turned out to be. The highlight for me was the win by Camila Giorgi over Maria Sharapova. Despite the fact that both players had a horrible winners to unforced error ratio, Giorgi was able to win the baseline battle and was not afraid to go for her shots. When Giorgi failed to serve out the match set at 5-4 in the third set, I as well as many others thought for sure that Sharapova's winning mentality would win the match at 7-5 or 7-6 but Giorgi hung tough and got another break at which point, the fight and belief seemed to go out of Sharapova.
Na Li struggled in her match against Karolina Pliskova but managed to win in straight sets despite not playing her best. Aleksandra Wozniak tried to rally in the second set to win in straights against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but lost the tiebreak. In the decider, Wozniak ended up serving a bagel. Flavia Pennetta has proven to be a tough matchup for Samantha Stosur as she won in 3 sets to improve the H2H to 5-0.
I did not see any of the Stephens/Ivanovic match as I had to get some sleep :)
Round of 16 Preview
Today’s Round of 16 Order of Play reads like the Fourth Round of a Grand Slam. There are some intriguing matches on the schedule and I for one cannot wait to see who will come out on top and into the quarters.
There are 2 former champions of this event and both of them will be going up against each other (Wozniacki/Jankovic). We have a player who is returning from a serious illness (Kleybanova) who usually plays very well in the desert up against a player from whom much is expected from her home country (Stephens). We have 2 youngsters who have had exceptional junior careers going up against each other (Halep/Bouchard) and we have what may become a marathon battle and is sure to be filled with drama from oen side of the court (Cornet/Radwanska).
In this round of 16 there are the wild cards, players who you never thought would get that far (Wozniak/Giorgi), they are going up against tried and true champions in Li and Pennetta respectively. Giorgi pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament when she took out the defending champion, Sharapova in 3 very tough sets. Casey Dellacqua, a journeywoman who had actually given up on tennis and got her beautician’s licence will be going up against another giant killer in Lauren Davis. I confess that I was of the view that Davis would have been happy with her big win over Azarenka but kudos to her for taking out her countrywoman Lepchenko in the next round. I can actually see her using her wheels to good effect against Dellacqua and making it through to the quarters.
Finally, we come to a match that will be either a testament to big hitting or a testament to what can happen when a player has no idea how to reign in their game (Cibulkova/Kvitova). Cibulkova has been literally flying under the radar here in the desert and it is good to see that her confidence seems to have returned after that loss in the Australian Open final. Kvitova steadied the ship against Kuznetsova in the previous round, serving up a bagel in the third set against the 2 time Grand Slam champion.
Jelena Jankovic v Caroline Wozniacki (Match of the Day)
Alize Cornet v Agnieszka Radwanska (Must see Match of the Day)
Na Li v Aleksandra Wozniak
Simona Halep v Eugenie Bouchard
Sloane Stephens v Alisa Kleybanova
Casey Dellacqua v Lauren Davis
Camila Giorgi v Flavia Pennetta
Dominika Cibulkova v Petra Kvitova