Agnieszka Radwanska vs Caroline Wozniacki, Doha R2 Preview

Qatar Total Open, ?? Second Round Match Preview:
(4) ?? Agnieszka Radwanska vs ?? Caroline Wozniacki

Thursday’s match of the day at the Qatar Total Open in Doha sees Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki renew hostilities in what has traditionally been a close rivalry between two very evenly matched players. Both Radwanska and Wozniacki made decent starts to the season during the Aussie summer but both were left disappointed when they were unable to reach the second week of the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne. Time is running out for Radwanska and Wozniacki to win a Grand Slam, arguably the two best current players to have never won a major. 2017 is a big year for both and the next couple of weeks are important to gain confidence and momentum heading into the next part of the season.

Aga Radwanska’s Australian summer certainly didn’t go as planned. The Pole made an alarming start to the year in Shenzhen where she suffered an uncharacteristic early round exit at the hands of Alison Riske. Aga seemed to have found her rhythm in Sydney where she reached the final (even though she was totally outplayed by Konta in the final). The Pole suffered a hugely disappointing second round loss at Melbourne Park, succumbing to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in straight sets, her earliest departure from the tournament since 2009. Aga will be looking to rebound strongly in Doha, a tournament where she has a great record having made the semi-final stage on five previous occasions including last year.

Caroline Wozniacki made a good start to her 2017 Qatar Total Open campaign, claiming a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win over Kiki Bertens. One thing in the Dane’s game that has stood out in recent times is her improved first serve which has become a solid weapon. Wozniacki has demonstrated a willingness to execute a more aggressive style of play in recent times, this second round clash with Radwanska is the perfect match-up for the Dane to bring this game to table and claim yet another win over the Pole.

Wozniacki and Radwanska have a long, long history. Wozniacki holds a 9-6 head-to-head record over Radwanska and has usually had the edge over the Pole. However, the pair met on three occasions in 2016 and it was Radwanska who won their two most recent matches, a 6-4 6-2 win in Wuhan and a 6-3 6-1 win in Beijing. It should be noted that Wozniacki wasn’t 100 percent fit for either of those matches.

I suspect Wozniacki will again emerge victorious when the pair go head to head in Doha on Thursday. Radwanska has more creativity and variety but against Wozniacki that often isn’t a great factor. Radwanska often tries to be too aggressive in this match-up and can be her own worst enemy. Wozniacki is better at grinding out a win and this often frustrates Radwanska. Another factor is Radwanska’s new racquet which seems to be giving her less power, in this match-up that could be a big problem. If Aga can’t push Wozniacki around she is in big trouble because Wozniacki will outlast her.

Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Agnieszka Radwanska in 3 sets

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