Australian Open, 🇦🇺 Second Round Match preview
(7) 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza vs 🇺🇸 (wc) Samantha Crawford
Garbine Muguruza will continue her quest for a second Grand Slam title on Wednesday when she comes up against Samantha Crawford at the second round stage at Melbourne Park. Muguruza came through a rollercoaster opening round match with Maria Erakovic in straight sets despite some concerns relating to a thigh injury on Monday afternoon. Muguruza will be hoping for a a more convincing second round clash against the American.
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Brisbane QF: Andrea Petkovic vs (Q) Samantha Crawford
A surprise quarter-final match-up at the Brisbane International sees Andrea Petkovic come up against American qualifier Samantha Crawford in the only quarter-final match to feature two unseeded players. This is a big opportunity for both ladies to reach the semi-final stage of a premier event and gain valuable ranking points at this early stage of the season.
Andrea Petkovic had a difficult ending to her 2015 season, admitting that she had lost her love for the game of tennis. The German recaptured her love for the sport and her will to fight during the offseason and as a result she has made a positive start to the new season. Andrea kick-started her campaign with a commanding 6-1 6-2 victory over Teliana Pereira. In the second round Andrea battled past Ekaterina Makarova to record an impressive 7-5 6-4 win, a solid confidence boosting victory at this early stage of the season.
Samantha Crawford is having the best week of her young career in Brisbane. The American picked up a couple of solid victories as she progressed through the qualifying draw, including victories over Tsvetana Pironkova and Oceane Dodin. The American’s biggest win of the week and her whole career came in the second round of the main draw where she upset Belinda Bencic with a 7-5 7-5 victory. The American dominated play and served exceptionally well to cause a major upset.
This will be the first career meeting between Petkovic and Crawford. This is a big occasion for both ladies, both will feel that this is a very winnable match. I expect this to be a really close match, ultimately the experienced German should be too strong when it matters most.
Prediction: Andrea Petkovic to defeat Samantha Crawford in 3 sets
Brisbane R2: (7) Belinda Bencic vs (Q) Samantha Crawford
Belinda Bencic made the perfect start to her Brisbane International campaign on Monday with a dominant 6-2 6-1 victory over Sara Errani. Bencic will be confident she can advance even further when she comes up against American qualifier Samantha Crawford in the second round.
Belinda Bencic had a remarkable 2015 season and big things are expected of the 18-year-old in 2016. Bencic has the perfect opportunity to reach the quarter-finals in Brisbane where she could run into Maria Sharapova for the first time. Bencic was far too good for Sara Errani in their first round match, bossing the Italian around the baseline in a very measured and mature performance. The conditions in Brisbane really suit Bencic’s game, she plays her best tennis on quicker surfaces.
Samantha Crawford has already had a wonderful week in Brisbane, coming through the qualifying draw where she picked up impressive victories over Tsvetana Pironkova and Oceane Dodin. Crawford was lucky enough to draw Australian wild card Priscilla Hon in the first round of the main draw, a very winnable match. The American took advantage of the situation, picking up a 6-4 6-4 victory to set up a second clash with Belinda Bencic.
This will be the first meeting between the pair, Belinda Bencic will start as the heavy favourite. This is a big match for Crawford, arguably the biggest of her career. I suggest Bencic will be far too solid and will be experienced enough to break down her inexperienced opponents game.
Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Samantha Crawford in 2 sets