Wow! I didn’t expect that. Sure, I thought there was a possibility Ana Ivanovic could beat Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round of the 2012 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. However, I was thinking something along the lines of a tight match with close sets…maybe some momentum swings within those sets. Mostly, I thought Wozniacki would take the match in straight sets over Ivanovic. What Ana served up instead was an emphatic 6-3 6-2 dismissal of Caroline in a battle of former world #1s and former Indian Wells champions. This looked like the Ana of old, hammering away at an opponent from the baseline and punishing weak serves. Caroline only won 50% of her first serve points. I won’t even bother mentioning the second serve troubles for Wozniacki. OK, taking a deep breath, what does this mean? Bottom line, it’s just one match. If Ana goes out and loses her quarterfinal match to Marion Bartoli, which is entirely possible, the Wozniacki win could lose some luster, especially as this is not the same Wozniacki from early in 2011 and before. I think despite Bartoli being the higher ranked player at the moment, Ana needs to follow her win over Caroline with a win over Marion.
The Azarenka Express arrived at 20-0 for the season as Vika was too much for the tough Julia Goerges, 6-3 6-1. Like the Ana-Caroline match, the Vika-Julia match was one I thought would be closer. However, I am less surprised at Vika’s dominant performance. Right now, I am sure the tournament organizers are going to sleep every night dreaming of a final pitting Vika against Maria Sharapova. But before that dream can materialize, Azarenka has a very interesting match against Agnieszka Radwanska. Maybe I am wrong again, but this could be a very tough match for Vika. Also, Aga had some things to say about Vika’s theatrics the last time they played. An interesting stat, Agnieszka is also 20-0 this year…to players not named Victoria Azarenka. Aga is 20-3 on the year, with all three losses coming to Vika. Technically, she also has a walkover loss to Su-Wei Hsieh in Kuala Lumpur but that doesn’t count as she was unable to play that day due to an elbow injury. But when Aga actually walks onto the court, the only player who has beaten her this year is Vika. If Radwanska wants this to be a true rivalry, she has to put the brakes on that stat.
Singles – Fourth Round
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (14) Julia Goerges (GER) 63 61
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (21) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 62 61
(15) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (4) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 63 62
(5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (WC) Jamie Hampton (USA) 63 46 30 ret. (cramping)
(7) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (23) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 61 64
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 61 60
(18) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (32) Christina McHale (USA) 63 36 76(4)
(20) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. (30) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 61 57 62