Category Archives: Li Na

Wimbledon Draw Analysis

Quarter 1: (1) Serena Williams, (5) Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have once again landed in the same quarter of the draw. The first quarter is undoubtedly the toughest section of the draw, not only because of the seeded players but also because of the presence of some dangerous unseeded players. Fresh off a shock early exit at Roland Garros, Serena Williams faces a potential early test against Christina McHale in the second round before a potential third round match up against Alize Cornet (who defeated Williams in their previous meeting earlier this year in Dubai). Should Serena navigate her way through this section she then faces a potential match against Eugenie Bouchard in the fourth round (wouldn't that be amazing to see). Eugenie Bouchard has a tricky opening round match against Daniela Hantuchova and could potentially run into the in from Andrea Petkovic in the third round. Bouchard has excelled in the first two Grand Slam's of the year, she has shown that she can match it with the very best and will therefore be a threat to any opponent she runs into over the fortnight (including Serena).

Not to be outdone, the bottom section in this quarter is equally as packed. The in form Angelique Kerber and last years semi finalist Kirsten Flipkens are the seeded players in the top half of this section. Both Kerber and Flipkens should be able to navigate their way through their opening round matches to set up a third round showdown. Likewise, Maria Sharapova should have no problems getting through her opening two matches but from there things could get tricky for the Roland Garros champion. Sharapova could potentially face Camila Giorgi or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round, both Giorgi and Pavlyuchenkova have defeated Sharapova this year. Also lurking in this section is American Christina McHale.

This means we could see Kerber face Sharapova in the fourth round and Serena Williams take on Eugenie Bouchard, wow.

Predicted quarter-finalists: (1) Serena Williams vs (9) Angelique Kerber

Quarter 2: (3) Simona Halep, (7) Jelana Jankovic

French Open finalist Simona Halep has landed in the tough half of the draw and will have her work cut out navigating her way through this tricky section. At first the draw is quite open for Halep, Suarez Navarro is the other top seed in her immediate section. Apart from a potentially dangerous third round match against compatriot Sorana Cirstea, Halep should ease into the quarter-finals (that is assuming she is fully fit). The draw has not been so kind to Jelana Jankovic, she has stated that her goal is to reach the second week, this wont be easy for the Serb. Jankovic faces Kanepi in the opening round before a potential match with Shvedova in the second round. Jelana could then face Madison Keys in the third round (the American dominated Jankovic In Eastbourne a few days a go). Then Jankovic could face either Sabine Lisicki of Ana Ivanovic who look destined to meet in a blockbuster third round match. Ivanovic has been very consistent this year and comes into this event fresh off her first ever grass court title and will be full of confidence. It's no secret that Wimbledon is Lisicki's favourite tournament, however her form has been poor this year and i don't see her making another deep run this year. It will be very interesting to see who comes through this section of the draw.

Predicted Quarter-finalists: (3) Simona Halep vs (11) Ana Ivanovic

Quarter 3: (8) Victoria Azarenka, (3) Agnieszka Radwanska

The third quarter is headlines by Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska who could set up a rematch of this years Australian Open quarterfinal where Radwanska played arguably the best match of her career. Azarenka seemingly has a much tougher passage to the quarterfinals compared to Agnieszka Radwanska (who has been dealt a very favorable draw). Azarenka could potentially face Garbine Muguruza in the third round in what would be a real challenge for the former world number 1. Dominika Cibulkova and Lucie Safarova also look destined to meet in the third round, a great chance for both of these ladies to have a good run in London. It seems Agnieszka Radwanska really looks forward to Wimbledon, she knows it here that she has her greatest chance to break through and win her first Grand Slam title. Radwanska has come close in the last two years and will be looking to go a step further in 2014. The Pole should breeze through her opening two matches but could face a bit of a test if she comes up against Kuznetsova in the third round. Ultimately Radwanska should ease through to the quarterfinals.

Predicted Quarter-Finalists: (10) Dominika Cibulkova vs (3) Agnieszka Radwanska

Quarter 4: (6) Petra Kvitova, (2) Li Na

Former champion Petra Kvitova and world number 2 Li Na are the highest seeds in the bottom quarter. Both ladies will have their work cut out to reach to reach the second week in London. Petra Kvitova could face fellow former champion Venus Williams in a blockbuster third round match. Also lurking in this section is Sloane Stephens, who as we all know really fires up for Grand Slams. Stephens faces Maria Kirilenko in one of the best first round match ups. Petra Kvitova is always vulnerable to lapses in concentration so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Stephens reach the second week of a Grand Slam once again.

Li Na will be desperate for a deep run in London after her shock first round exit in Paris. The world number 2 has been treated relatively kindly by the draw. This years Australian Open champion should be able to hit past any of the seeded opponents she could come up against in this section, including Elena Vesnina, Samantha Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki. Wozniacki returned to form In Eastbourne; the Dane could meet Samantha Stosur in the third round who she defeated on route to the semi-finals in Eastbourne.

Predicted Quarter-finalists: (6) Petra Kvitova vs (2) Li Na

Final verdict: Serena Williams def. Agnieszka Radwanska

I find it nearly impossible to go past picking Serena Williams whenever she is involved. Serena stated after her shock loss to Muguruza at Roland Garros that she will work hard so that she never loses again, there is no doubt she will be as determined as ever. Serena is always so hard to beat at Wimbledon, despite having a very tough draw she is my pick to claim her sixth Wimbledon title. Radwanska is real chance to claim her first Grand Slam title, the Pole loves playing on grass. Her ability to get low and redirect the ball makes hard to beat on grass. The draw has been kind to Radwanska so with a little luck (Serena getting kicked out early) Aga could go all the way.

let me know if you agree? leave a comment below 🙂

    Li Na Stunned by Kiki Mladenovic

    World number 2 Li Na has been knocked out in the opening round at Roland Garros by local Kristina Mladenovic. It was a well deserved win for the Frenchwoman who dictated for the majority of the match.

    Mladenovic made her intentions known right from the outset, she would break Li Na's serve in the third game to take the early lead. Kiki consolidated the break with a strong service hold as Li Na began to look increasingly frustrated with her mediocre start to the match. Li Na would hit straight back, leveling the set at 3-3. From here the two would trade service breaks. Three double faults from Li Na gifted Mladenovic a break whilst two double faults from Mladenovic gifted Li a break. At 4-5 the Frenchwoman was have to serve to stay in the set, she successfully did so despite facing two set points. Mladenovic was able to come up with some big first serves when she needed to most. From here Mladenovic would go on to win the next two games to take the opening set in just over an hour. Mladenovic was able to dictate play for most of the opening set, successfully stepping into the court on a number of occasions.

    The second set was a different story, Mladenovic's level really dropped and Li Na was able to take advantage of this. Li Na raced away to a 3-0 lead and was able to maintain a similar lead for the entire set. Li Na took the second set 6-3. The key to the second set was that Li was able to considerably cut down on the number of unforced errors she hit. In the first set the world number 2 hit 18 unforced errors compared to just 5 in the second set.

    The third set was all Mladenovic, she regained the momentum with a love service hold to begin the third set. In the fourth game Mladenovic would break to love and for the first time the finish line was within reach. What was impressive was that Mladenovic continued to attack, winning the next three games to take the deciding set 6-1. A massive upset, I certainly didn't see this coming. After the match Mladenovic cried tears of joy, showing just how much this win meant to her.

    Roland Garros Initial Draw Analysis

    It is always exciting when the draw is released for a tournament, especially a Grand Slam, here is my initial analysis of the 2014 Roland Garros draw.

    1st Quarter: (1) Serena Williams vs. (7) Maria Sharapova

    The first quarter is certainly the easiest on paper to predict. This section of the draw is headlined by world number 1 and defending champion Serena Williams. Serena could potentially meet sister Venus Williams in the third round. Garbine Muguruza lurks is a potentially dangerous match up for Serena in the second round. Roberta Vinci has a good chance to make to make it to the fourth round, also an opportunity for Yaroslava Shvedova.

    Samantha Stosur and Dominika Cibulkova have potentially dangerous first up opponents in Monica Puig and Virginie Razzano, Maria Sharapova should breeze through this section of the draw and hopefully set up a mouthwatering clash with Serena Williams in the quarterfinals

    2nd Quarter: (3) Agnieszka Radwanska vs. (18) Eugenie Bouchard

     This would have to the softest quarter of the draw. Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber are the highest seeds in this section but both are vulnerable, especially on clay. Carla Suarez Navarro and Alize Cornet are two seeded players that could cause some problem for Aga, however I will back the Pole to come through this section and reach her second consecutive quarterfinal at Roland Garros.

     As for Angie Kerber, I’m not so confident. The German is really struggling to find form at the moment but has a slightly favorable initial draw with her first potential seeded opponent being Daniela Hantuchova. Eugenie Bouchard is floating in this section of the draw and could potentially meet Flavia Pennetta in the third round in what would be an intriguing match. I am going to buy into the hype surrounding Genie, I think she can reach the quarterfinals.

     3rd Quarter: (11) Ana Ivanovic vs. (15) Sloane Stephens

    The top section of the third quarter is filled with potentially dangerous floaters, in what is one of the toughest sections to predict. Fittingly it is the erratic Petra Kvitova that headlines this section of the draw, she SHOULD be able to navigate her way through her opening matches. Ana Ivanovic has been dealt a killer draw, playing Caroline Garcia in the opening round (one of the best opening round matches). However I will back Ana to progress through this section, but she may also have to deal with the always dangerous Lucie Safarova in the third round.

     Sloane Stephens is known for performing on the biggest stages and has a relatively kind draw that she should take advantage of. The American should progress to the third round where she is likely to meet Ekaterina Makarova. On clay I have to go with Stephens in this match up. Simona Halep is the highest seed in the third quarter and should be able to navigate her way through to the fourth round with relative ease. A potential match up them looms between Halep and Stephens in the fourth round. That is a really tough match to speculatively call but I am going to back Sloane Stephens to reach the quarterfinals here (for now, there are some question marks surrounding the fitness of the Romanian).

     4th Quarter prediction: (6) Jelana Jankovic vs. (2) Li Na

     The highest seed at the top of this section is Jelana Jankovic who was promising in Rome before falling to Errani. Speaking of Errani, the Italian is projected to meet Jelana in the fourth round. Sara is no certainty to get that far, she faces American Madison Keys in the first round, if Sara isn’t fully fit she will struggle to get past the American who is playing well at the moment. Sorana Cirstea could pose a threat to Jelana in this section but I think Jelana will progress to the quarterfinals.

     There are some big names in the bottom section, Li Na, Caroline Wozniacki, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrea Petkovic. Wozniacki is really struggling at the moment and is dealing with relationship dramas; I can’t see her progressing very far. I believe Pavlyuchenkova will be able to progress to the fourth round where she is highly likely to meet the number 2 seeded Li Na. Li Na faces Mladenovic in the opening round, one of the biggest first round match ups. Pavlyuchenkova at her best can match it with anyone but she just isn’t consistent. Li Na is a strong chance to progress to the quarterfinals.

    Championship prediction: Serena Williams d. Li Na

    Serena Williams is once again the overwhelming favourite heading into this tournament, despite her recent injury scare. During her emphatic performance in Rome the world number 1 showed no sign of any injury. I believe Serena will go defend her title, i just can't see her losing...