2014 Hobart International Preview

Event 5/59 in the WTA.

As the top seed in the Hobart International, can Sam Stosur break her run of poor performances in Australia?

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PHOTO FROM HERE (http://www.wtatennis.com/namedImage/12781/largeimage_415.jpg)

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(One of the best trophies presented on the WTA Tour)

PHOTO FROM HERE (http://www.tennis.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/groth-trophy-460×306.jpg)

BOLD DENOTES AUSTRALIAN

ENTRY LISTS:

WOMEN:

PLAYER

RANKING AT TIME OF ENTRY

Sam Stosur

18

Kirsten Flipkens

20

Elena Vesnina

25

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

26

Flavia Pennetta

31

Mona Barthel

34

Klara Zakopalova

35

Bojana Jovanovski

36

Magdalena Rybarikova

37

Karin Knapp

41

Stefanie Voegele

42

Shuai Peng

43

Laura Robson

45

Elina Svitolina

46

Marina Erakovic

47

Venus Williams

48

Yvonne Meusberger

50

Yanina Wickmayer

51

Shuai Zhang

52

Jie Zheng

53

Monica Puig

55

Kristina Mladenovic

56

Alison Riske

57

Storm Sanders (Replaced Ash Barty)

(WC)

Casey Dellacqua (WC)
Olivia Rogowska (WC)

QUALIFYING LIST:

Annika Beck

Monica Niculescu
Alexandra Cadantu
Garbine Muguruza

Katerina Siniakova

Lourdes Dominguez Lino
Kurumi Nara
Silvia Soler-Espinosa

Julia Glushko

Julia Cohen

Teliana Pereira

Lara Arruabarrena
Mariana Duque-Marino
Alison Van Uytvanck
Estrella Cabeza Candela

María Irigoyen

Andrea Hlavackova

Sesil Karatantcheva

An-Sophie Mestach

Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Madison Brengle

Jovana Jaksic

Alexandra Dulgheru

Alize Lim

Anastasia Rodionova

Nastassja Burnett

Danka Kovinic

 

QUALIFYING DRAW:

Round 1:

(1) Alison Van Uytvanck def. Sesil Karatantcheva 6-3 6-4

Jovana Jaksic def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 6-1

An-Sophie Mestach def. Katerina Siniakova 6-7 6-0 6-0

(7) Lara Arruabarrena def. Nigina Abduraimova 6-2 6-1

(2) Garbine Muguruza def. Chanel Simmonds 6-1 6-0

Alexandra Dulgheru def. Julia Cohen 6-3 6-1

(WC) Naiktha Bains def. Maria Elena Camerin 6-1 6-4

(6) Teliana Pereira def. Maria Irigoyen 7-5 6-2

Sachia Vickery def. (3) Lourdes Dominguez Lino 7-6 6-3

Danka Kovinic def. (WC) Olivia Tjandramulia 6-1 6-3

Madison Brengle def. (WC) Kimberly Birrell 6-4 6-2

Alize Lim def. (8) Mariana Duque-Marino 7-5 6-3

(4) Silvia Soler-Espinosa def. Ilona Kremen 6-0 6-3

Andrea Hlavackova def. (WC) Azra Hadzic 6-0 6-1

Estrella Cabeza Candela def. Anastasiya Vasylyeva 6-2 6-4

(5) Julia Glushko def. Nastassja Burnett 6-3 2-0 retired

 

Round 2:

(1) Alison Van Uytvanck def. Jovana Jaksic 2-6 6-4 6-4

An-Sophie Mestach def. (7) Lara Arruabarrena 6-4 6-0

(2) Garbine Muguruza def. Alexandra Dulgheru 6-3 6-2

(WC) Naiktha Bains def. (6) Teliana Pereira 6-3 6-3

Sachia Vickery def. Danka Kovinic 6-3 6-3

Madison Brengle def. Alize Lim 6-4 7-6

(4) Silvia Soler-Espinosa def. Andrea Hlavackova 6-3 2-6 6-3

Estrella Cabeza Candela def. (5) Julia Glushko 6-4 7-6

 

Round 3:

(1) Alison Van Uytvanck def. An-Sophie Mestach 6-4 6-2

(2) Garbine Muguruza def. (WC) Naiktha Bains 6-1 6-0 

Madison Brengle def. Sachia Vickery 6-4 6-3

Estrella Cabeza Candela def. (4) Silvia Soler-Espinosa 4-6 7-5 6-4

 

MAIN DRAW:

Round 1:

(1) Sam Stosur def. Madison Brengle 6-7 6-1 7-6

Kristina Mladenovic def. Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-7 6-4 6-4

(WC) Olivia Rogowska def. Alexandra Cadantu 7-6 6-1

(8) Bojana Jovanovski def. Annika Beck 7-5 6-3

Alison Riske def. (4) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-2

(WC) Casey Dellacqua def. Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4

Shuai Zhang def. Jie Zheng 6-3 6-1

(7) Klara Zakopalova def. Yvonne Meusburger 7-5 6-2

(6) Mona Barthel def. Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-3

Monica Niculescu def. Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 6-0

Estrella Cabeza Candela def. Karin Knapp 7-5 6-4

(3) Elena Vesnina def. Monica Puig 6-4 6-4

Garbine Muguruza def. An-Sophie Mestach 6-1 6-1

Yanina Wickmayer def. Laura Robson 4-6 2-0 retired.

(WC) Storm Sanders def. Shuai Peng 6-2 6-2

Kirsten Flipkens def. Marina Erakovic 6-4 6-1

 

Round 2:

(1) Sam Stosur def. Kristina Mladenovic 6-4 2-6 7-6

(8) Bojana Jovanovski def. (WC) Olivia Rogowska 3-6 6-2 6-0

Alison Riske def. (WC) Casey Dellacqua 7-5 4-6 6-3

(7) Klara Zakopalova def. Shuai Zhang 6-1 6-2

Monica Niculescu def. (6) Mona Barthel 7-6 6-1

Estrella Cabeza Candela def. (3) Elena Vesnina 4-6 6-2 4-1 retired.

Garbine Muguruza def. Yanina Wickmayer 4-1 retired

Kirsten Flipkens def. (WC) Storm Sanders 4-6 7-6 7-6

 

Quarter Finals:

(1) Sam Stosur def. (8) Bojana Jovanovski 6-3 6-2

(7) Klara Zakopalova def. Alison Riske 6-4 7-5

Estrella Cabeza Candela def. Monica Niculescu 3-6 7-6 6-4

Garbine Muguruza def. Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 6-3

 

Semi Finals:

(7) Klara Zakopalova def. (1) Sam Stosur 6-3 6-2

Garbine Muguruza def. Estrella Cabeza Candela 6-0 6-1

 

Final:

Garbine Muguruza def. (7) Klara Zakopalova 6-4 6-0

 

Garbine-Muguruza-360x230

 

PREVIEW:

(Written after Monday’s round of matches)

Can Sam Stosur find success in Australia for the first time in a long time?

For the first time since 2004 Sam Stosur is competing at the Hobart International in the lead up to the Australian Open.

As the top seed, she has a good chance of doing well at the tournament this week.

We all know that the yips traditionally involved in the Australian summer are there and it is imperative this disappears if the Aussie number 1 is to perform well.

It has crippled the Aussie in recent years but she has a draw in Hobart capable of potentially getting rid of those mental issues that affect her in Australia.

Surprisingly, before the start of the 2006 season, Stosur was fantastic in Australia.

Her record was 15-10 and included two finals in Gold Coast and Sydney in 2005.

Since then, Stosur has struggled, and gone 19-19 in her 38 main draw matches in Australia.

In the last two years, this has gotten worse, as the Aussie has won just two matches and lost six times.

The change in Hobart could be the catalyst for a big summer of tennis for the Aussie.

The whole of Australia and Stosur is hoping that this is the case.

Here is a look at the top half of the draw which contains the Aussie..

image (6)

Stosur opened up her campaign in Hobart with a win against Madison Brengle.

It wasn’t pretty but the Aussie got the win which is the important thing for her.

She was up a break in the 1st and 3rd sets but was able to win the final set tiebreaker to win the match.

Stosur will now play Kristina Mladenovic in the 2nd round and has faced the Frenchwoman once in her career.

That was at the French Open last year and Stosur won in straight sets.

Mladenovic is beatable, but not if Stosur struggles with her confidence like she did yesterday.

She got punished by Brengle when she lost control of her game and Mladenovic will take full control is she does it again.

If she gets past Mladenovic – which I believe she can – Stosur faces a potential quarter final against Bojana Jovanovski.

The Serbian has to face another Australian beforehand, with Jovanovski against Olivia Rogowska.

Rogowska defeated Alexandra Cadantu in straight sets to set up the second round clash with Jovanovski.

The duo have faced each other once with the Australian defeating Jovanovski in Cincinnati in 2012.

She is every chance of repeating the result if she serves well against the Serbian.

Rogowska conceded three breaks in her win against Cadantu but won 73% of her 1st serves in.

She needs to get more 1st serves in against Jovanovski and also capitalise on those points by winning plenty of them.

The Serbian will give her chances to break, so it is vital Rogowska serves well to not hand them back.

A win by Stosur and Rogowska would set up an all Australian quarter final.

The two Aussies have never faced each other before, but it would help Stosur if Rogowska made the quarter finals.

Playing against a fellow Aussie could inspire Stosur more and create less pressure as there is an Aussie at the other end of the court.

She would have a good chance of making the semi final if Rogowska played her in the quarters.

If Jovanovski does progress past Rogowska, Stosur does have a 1-0 head to head record against the Serbian.

She would favour herself to make the semi final if she can get past Mladenovic.

Stosur’s potential semi final match-up – if she makes it that far – looks to be against Klara Zakopalova after she became the only seed in the bottom section of the top half of the draw.

Fourth seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, was defeated by Alison Riske, who defeated her in straight sets.

This helped Australian Casey Dellacqua as well.

A win by the Western Australian has now set up a clash with Riske and provides a great chance of making the quarter finals.

Personally, she is every chance to do it, based on the recent form Dellacqua is in.

A win last week in Brisbane, and two title wins in Bendigo last year, see Dellacqua in pretty good form this Australian summer.

If she can serve well, and attack the Riske serve, she is every chance to beat her.

They haven’t played each other before on the WTA tour.

The winner of this would face the winner of Zakopalova and Shuai Zhang.

The two have never faced each other before but I’d favour Zakopalova to defeat her Chinese opponent.

If Dellacqua makes the quarters, and plays Zakopalova, she would fancy her chances against her.

The Western Australian defeated Zakopalova in Dubai in 2012 and I’d suggest she is in better form than that meeting.

Zakopalova would also have improved considerably since that time.

I still believe the Czech Republic player will make the semi finals and face a potential meeting with Stosur.

Again, it will all depend on Stosur, as to how she will go in that match.

She is talented enough to easily progress to the final, if it wasn’t played in Australia.

If Stosur makes the final, she could face stiff competition from the bottom half of the draw, which looks strong.

Here is a look at the bottom half of the draw.

image (5)

The three seeds, Barthel, Vesnina and Flipkens all have decent positions to make the final from their section of the draw.

Flipkens has the best chance after Flavia Pennetta withdrew from the event with a wrist injury.

This means the Belgium doesn’t face a seed until the semi finals.

She will have to face a potential quarter final against Garbine Muguruza though, who has made a stellar start to the week in Hobart.

Muguruza – who went through qualifying – has won four matches at a loss of just 9 games.

This has included two bagels in her opening round and the final round of qualifying.

Up next for the Spaniard will be Yanina Wickmayer, who benefitted from the retirement of Laura Robson.

The two haven’t faced each other before in the WTA but I’d heavily favour Muguruza defeating the Belgium.

The Spaniard would set up a meeting with another Belgium, Kirsten Flipkens, who has to defeat either Australian Storm Sanders or Shuai Peng in the 2nd round.

Peng should be too strong for the Australian and could be a challenger to Flipkens in the quarters.

In two meetings between the two, Peng has won both of them.

Flipkens has improved since their meetings in 2011 but it will be close between the two.

I still favour Flipkens to progress to the quarters and the semi’s.

Awaiting her could be either Barthel or Vesnina, who look to be meeting in the quarter final.

Vesnina – the defending champion – will resume her match with Monica Puig tomorrow after rain delayed their match.

Puig did defeat Vesnina in their only match-up in 2012 but I expect the Russian to be the victor on this occasion.

She then faces a qualifier in Estrella Cabeza Candela who should be no trouble for the defending champion.

This sets up a potential meeting with Mona Barthel, who will play Monica Niculescu for the spot in the quarters.

Barthel was impressive against Svitolina on Sunday and has a 1-0 record against Niculescu.

I see her defeating the Romanian and booking a quarter final match-up against Vesnina.

If that happens, it would be a repeat of last year’s final where Vesnina was victorious in straight sets.

The Russian leads 2-0 against Barthel and I see her progressing to the semi finals for a shot against Kirsten Flipkens.

Vesnina leads 3-1 in the head to head meetings and looks – to me – to be on track to make back to back finals.

With an inconsistent Stosur at the top of the draw, and a lack of other seeds at the top, the winner of the tournament will come from the bottom of the draw.

I believe that person will be Vesnina and she will go back to back in Hobart.

PREDICTION:

Elena Vesnina but Sam Stosur has what it takes to win if she can maintain her confidence and her top ten form throughout the event.

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