WTA Wuhan: Preview & Predictions


WTA Wuhan: Will Kvitova cement her place in Singapore?

The 2015 Wuhan Open gets underway this week on the hard courts in Wuhan, China. As the final Premier 5 level event of the season, the tournament boasts 7 top 10 players as of this week. With a potential 900 points available for the champion, this event will undoubtedly have a sizeable impact on qualification for the WTA Finals in Singapore. Find out more about that here!

Here’s a preview of the draw and my predictions as to who will reach the semi finals.


Top Half: Victoria Azarenka vs (3) Petra Kvitova 

(1) Simona Halep suffered a stunning quarter final defeat last week in Guangzhou against world number 74, Denisa Allertova. Though her opponent must have played brilliantly, it appeared that Halep struggled in the humid conditions. Considering this and her tough draw this week, I find it difficult to see Halep continuing to reach at least the quarters at all hard court events she’s played this year. Her opener will be against either Svetlana Kuznetsova or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, with Victoria Azarenka her probable 3rd round opponent. As if that wasn’t enough, current Tokyo finalist, (10) Agnieszka Radwanska or Venus Williams could await in the quarters as it seems unlikely that (7) Carla Suarez Navarro will feature. Though the Spaniard might have ended her 8 match losing streak in Tokyo this week, she quickly lost one round later and will most likely lose out before the quarters.

If Azarenka is healthy, her tenacity should see her battle through this very tough section, perhaps accounting for Halep en route.

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(3) Petra Kvitova is the defending champion but hasn’t played since losing in the US Open quarter finals. Given she’s 4th place on the Road to Singapore, a good showing here would likely secure her place in the 8 woman field. In the 3rd round, she could face the US Open finalist, (13) Roberta Vinci or current Seoul finalist, Irina Camelia Begu. Though (8) Karolina Pliskova is slated to reach the quarters, I feel that last year’s semi finalist here, (12) Elina Svitolina or Samantha Stosur are just as likely to reach that stage.

Given Kvitova’s experience and love for Asian hard courts, I give her the edge in this very unpredictable section.

Bottom Half: (4) Caroline Wozniacki vs (2/WC) Maria Sharapova

(4) Caroline Wozniacki is match tight considering her run to the semis in Tokyo but could have a tough opener against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, a semi finalist in Seoul this week. Still, I favour her to come through an unpredictable section where (5) Garbine Muguruza and (9) Ana Ivanovic reside. Muguruza will have a fight on her hands, whether it be either Sloane Stephens or Alison Riske in the 2nd round and Ivanovic may well fall foul of Dominika Cibulkova for a third successive event.

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I feel that Wozniacki’s consistency will see her through this section as her most dangerous foe, Muguruza will fall by the wayside early on.

(2/WC) Maria Sharapova is playing her first tournament since Wimbledon due to a leg injury so should be extremely rusty. Though there’s no standout to really threaten her in the early rounds, Lesia Tsurenko, Coco Vandeweghe or Caroline Garcia could prove troublesome should they reach the 3rd round. (6) Angelique Kerber has been playing well for some time but could face Guangzhou champion, Jelena Jankovic in the 2nd round. Undoubtedly a more worrying opponent for her  is (11) Belinda Bencic, currently a Tokyo finalist who could be in the top 10 as of next week. Bencic starts out against last year’s finalist here, Eugenie Bouchard but should be expected to progress based on her terrific form this summer.

If Kerber can beat Bencic, I feel that she stands a good chance against a brittle Maria Sharapova in the quarters. However, as this is unlikely, I predict Maria Sharapova will out-power Belinda Bencic to reach the semis.

Next: WTA Tokyo: Final Prediction

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