(3) Caroline Wozniacki vs Samantha Stosur
In one of the most intriguing second round clashes from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: Former Champion, Caroline Wozniacki takes on Samantha Stosur in what promises to be an extremely close affair. The Australian number 1 will present a difficult first up opponent for Caroline who received a bye through to the second round.
Sam Stosur has a made a solid start to the season however she hasn’t had the results she would have liked. Stosur has run into some in from opponents and suffered early round exits throughout the Australian summer despite playing reasonable tennis.
Sam Stosur advanced to the second round in Dubai with a comfortable 6-3 6-1 victory over qualifier, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the first main draw match on Centre Court.
Stosur played a tactically clever match, mixing up her pace and ensuring she didn’t go for too much. Lucic-Baroni was wayward from start to finish, hitting 24 unforced errors in the first set alone. Wozniacki will present a very different and much more difficult test for Stosur, the Dane certainly won’t be handing Stosur such a high number of free points.
This will be Caroline’s first match in almost a month. The Dane made a solid start to the season, reaching the final in Auckland before eventually falling to Venus Williams in a highly competitive three setter. Wozniacki was handed a killer draw in Melbourne and was unable to defy the odds. Wozniacki slumping to a second round exit, courtesy of 6-4 6-2 loss to Victoria Azarenka.
Caroline Wozniacki has a very good record in Dubai, she seems to thrive in the humid desert air. The 2011 Dubai champion has reached the semifinals in Dubai on three consecutive occasions. After a disappointing second round exit in Melbourne, the Dane will be looking to kickstart her season by emulating her 2011 title run.
The head to head record between Sam and Caro is split 4-4, However on hard courts Sam holds a 3-1 advantage. It was Stosur who prevailed in their most recent encounter, a hard fought 6-4 7-6 victory in Beijing last season. Stosur certainly has the ability to overpower Wozniacki, however her ability to maintain a high level for long enough is questionable, whilst the conditions in Dubai certainly favour the Dane.
While Caroline Wozniacki was an impressive record in Dubai, Stosur has a fairly lacklustre record, a 3-3 win/loss record over the past three tournaments. The quick conditions don’t suit Stosur’s game, Wozniacki needs to make the most of the conditions by being more aggressive in this match and taking time away from Stosur. Most signs point to a Wozniacki victory, however it certainly won’t be easy, the match is likely to go to three sets.
Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Sam Stosur in 3 sets