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WTA Indian Wells 2013: Samantha Stosur vs. Madison Keys 2nd Round Preview
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Stosur had one of the worst starts to 2013 as she bowed out in the opening round of the Brisbane international and the Apia International. Her poor run of form continued at her home Major – the Australian open as well as she was trumped by the Chinese Jie Zheng in a three set thriller in the round of 64.
However, since then things have settled quite nicely for her – a fact made evident by her two successive quarterfinal showings in the Middle East. At the Qatar Total Open she overcame the stiff resistance of the resurgent Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the round of 16 before being overwhelmed by the wily Roberta Vinci of Italy in the ensuing one. Despite that loss, the Gold Coast native showed signs of improvement and that would keep her in good stead for the rest of the year.
Inside the Indian Wells Tennis Garden today she knows that she will have to deal with two opponents at the same time – a partisan crowd and her rival Keys. While the spectators would be rooting for the teenager on every point and the charged up atmosphere could have a positive effect as that could pump her to perform better. Still, the Brisbane native should not be deterred with that prospect as in the past too she had dealt with such situation. After all, the 7th seed had crushed superstar Serena Williams in front of a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows for her debut Slam title.
Meanwhile, the 18 year old has been taking huge steps towards her entry into the top-50 of the women’s rankings. She had already made a significant jump from a lowly rank of 149 to an impressive 77 at present. The Florida resident has played solid tennis throughout the two months but has bumped into far more superior challengers – Na Li in Sydney, Angelique Kerber at Melbourne Park and recently Sabine Lisicki in Memphis and beating those experienced campaigners is no mean task for anyone.
The pair has never faced one another on the WTA tour and in their first meeting the 28 year old will be a clear-cut favorite. The former world no.4 should get the job done today as with her pin-point shots she will overpower the youngster and that will give her one more chance to get back to her top form.
Pick: Stosur in two!
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