What to Watch in the WTA This Week: Bastad and Bad Gastein Previews

Serena says hello to her new favorite surface.

Serena says hello to her new favorite surface.

Simona Halep brings a remarkable winning streak in pursuit of a fourth straight International title.  This week, a bit more competition might await her than at the three others.

Bastad:

Top half:  The second-ranked Maria Sharapova spent a brief holiday in Sweden this month, but world No. 1 Serena Williams will mix at least some business with pleasure.  One would not have expected to see Serena at an International event on clay rather than her usual US Open Series stop at Stanford.  But her undefeated clay record this year will go on the line against an overmatched group of opponents—on paper, at least.  Sure to collect a huge appearance fee in Bastad, Serena may or may not play with her usual intensity at a tournament that means nothing to her legacy.  The top-ranked junior in the world, Belinda Bencic, stands a win away from facing the top-ranked woman in the world shortly after earning the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon.  Serena’s own disappointment on those lawns may motivate her to bring more imposing form to Bastad than she would otherwise.

The player who came closest to defeating Serena on clay this year, Anabel Medina Garrigues, might await in the quarterfinals.  On the other hand, Medina Garrigues won just two games from projected second-round opponent Dinah Pfizenmaier in Palermo last week.  Also suffering an early exit there was Lara Arruabarrena, a Spaniard who shone briefly this spring.  Arruabarrena joins Lesia Tsurenko among the women vying with third seed Klara Zakopalova for the right to face Serena in the semifinals.  At a similar level of tournament in 2009, Zakopalova outlasted a diffident Serena on the clay of Marbella.

Bottom half:  Grass specialist Tsvetana Pironkova holds the fourth seed in a quarter free from any dirt devils.  Almost anyone could emerge from this section, perhaps even one of Sweden’s top two women.  Johanna Larsson will meet Sofia Arvidsson in the first round, an unhappy twist of fate for home fans.  The lower-ranked of the two, Arvidsson has accumulated the stronger career record overall.

Riding a 15-match winning streak at non-majors, Simona Halep seeks her fourth title of the summer.  She went the distance in consecutive weeks just before Wimbledon, on two different surfaces no less, so an International double on clay would come as no great surprise.  One aging threat and one rising threat jump out of her quarter as possible obstacles.  After reaching the second week of Wimbledon, Flavia Pennetta may have gained the confidence needed to ignite her stagnating comeback.  Assigned an opening test against clay specialist Alexandra Dulgheru, young French sensation Caroline Garcia looks to unlock more of her potential.  And Serena’s notorious assassin, Virginie Razzano, cannot be discounted entirely.

Final:  Serena vs. Halep

Bad Gastein:

Top half:  To be frank, this tournament boasts one of the least impressive fields on the WTA calendar (if “boasts” is the proper word).  On the bright side, Bad Gastein should feature some competitive, unpredictable matches from the first round to the last.  The only top-50 woman in the draw, Mona Barthel will seek her third final of 2013 but her first on clay.  Barthel wields more than enough power to hit through the slow surface, but her patience can be ruffled in adversity.  Her most notable pre-semifinal challenge might come from Kiki Bertens, who won a small title on clay last year.  Barthel has dominated their history, though, including a victory this year.

As she builds on an encouraging Wimbledon, Andrea Petkovic holds the fourth seed in a tournament near home.  Her family traveled with her from Germany before the draw ceremony, images of which appear elsewhere on this site.  A finalist on clay in Nurnberg last month, Petkovic drew one of the tournament’s most notable unseeded players in her opener, Petra Martic.  Just as injuries have undermined Petkovic for many months, mononucleosis has hampered Martic’s progress.  But her balanced game and keen feel for the ball still emerges, making her a greater threat than other players in the section.  Palermo semifinalist Chanelle Scheepers, who solved Martic there, might test Petkovic’s consistency.  Nor should one ignore elite junior Elina Svitolina in the draw’s most compelling section.

Bottom half:  Romanians enjoyed strong results last week, highlighted by Halep’s extended winning streak and semifinals from Alexandra Cadantu and Victor Hanescu.  This week, third seed Irina-Camelia Begu seeks to echo the success of her compatriots as she rebounds from a first-round loss in Palermo.  While her only career title came on a hard court, Begu reached two clay finals in 2011, her best season so far.  Near her stands home hope Yvonne Meusburger, who surprised by reaching the Budapest final.  The star-crossed Arantxa Rus simply hopes to halt the longest losing streak in WTA history, although she has drawn a seeded opponent in Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor.

Yet another rising German, second seed Annika Beck has reached the quarterfinals or better at three International tournaments on clay this year.  Beck can look forward to a second-round meeting with doubles specialist Lucie Hradecka with resurgent Italian Karin Knapp awaiting the winner.  Knapp returned to the top 100 when she exploited an imploding section of the Wimbledon draw to reach the second week.  Her skills suit clay less smoothly than some of the women around her, such as Palermo semifinalist Cadantu.

Final: Petkovic vs. Beck

26 Responses to What to Watch in the WTA This Week: Bastad and Bad Gastein Previews

  • read more says:

    I simply want to say I am very new to blogs and truly loved your web site. Likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You actually have impressive writings. With thanks for sharing with us your blog.

  • read review says:

    I just want to say I’m all new to blogs and honestly liked this web-site. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You definitely have fantastic article content. Thanks for sharing with us your blog.

  • I simply want to mention I am just newbie to blogging and honestly enjoyed your blog site. Probably I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely come with very good article content. Regards for sharing with us your blog.

  • Hello! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!

  • masaj says:

    Angelo i-Phone Repair is a full service repair facility. Let our CERTIFIED MASTER CELLULAR TECHNICIANS help you out ! We offer same day service on most devices and in most cases it is almost always less expensive to repair your device than it is to replace it.

  • Right here is the right web site for anybody who wishes to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to

  • Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some
    of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  • Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to
    see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it
    with someone!

  • Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere,
    when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also make comment
    due to this sensible paragraph.

  • It’s an awesome post for all the internet viewers; they will obtain advantage from it I
    am sure.

  • If some one wishes expert view regarding blogging
    after that i suggest him/her to visit this webpage, Keep up the fastidious job.

  • Wow because this is excellent job! Congrats and keep it up.|

  • Hi, its fastidious paragraph regarding media print, we all understand media is a impressive
    source of data.

  • Verdell says:

    Wow, that’s what I was seeking for, what a stuff!
    existing here at this webpage, thanks admin of this web page.

  • I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this publish used to
    be good. I do not know who you’re however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger
    when you are not already. Cheers!

  • Thanks for finally talking about > What to Watch in the WTA This Week:
    Bastad and Bad Gastein Previews | Tennis Grandstand < Liked it!

  • I am in fact happy to glance at this blog posts which consists of plenty of useful facts, thanks for providing
    such data.

  • Very energetic post, I liked that a lot.

    Will there be a part 2?

  • Greetings! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might
    be able to resolve this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.
    Many thanks!

  • Tangela says:

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it
    but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got
    some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  • whoah this weblog is excellent i love studying your posts.
    Stay up the great work! You know, a lot of people
    are searching around for this information, you could help them greatly.

  • Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this website daily, this web page
    is genuinely fastidious and the people are genuinely sharing nice thoughts.

  • Robbyn says:

    This article will assist the internet users for creating
    new blog or even a blog from start to end.

  • Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one!
    It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  • It’s going to be finish of mine day, except before
    ending I am reading this great post to increase my experience.

  • Ivan says:

    If some one wants expert view concerning running a blog then i propose him/her to go to see this web site, Keep up the pleasant job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>