Women's tennis is returning to the Washington D.C. area this week with the inaugural Citi Open. It is an International level event, but look for it to become a much bigger tournament in a few years. While it's not part of the U.S. Open Series, it is in my area, so I figured I would make some predictions for it anyway.
The tournament features a respectable field, including Shahar Peer, Nadia Petrova, Jelena Dokic and Wimbledon quarter finalist Tamira Paszek. These four are the top seeds and I would say the clear favorites, but I will make my predictions anyway.
Peer is scheduled to face Alberta Brianti in the quarters, and honestly, I don't see too many obstacles in their way. American Sloane Stephens is in this section, but I think she's still too young to make a big splash even in a tournament like this. Peer has too much game for Brianti and should cruise into the semifinals.
Paszek will play American Melanie Oudin in the first round. I don't think this will be much of a match. Paszek is playing some of the best tennis of her career, while Oudin just lost in the first round of a challenger in Kentucky—enough said. Paszek could have Melinda Czink in the second round. Czink upset Sam Stosur at Wimbledon this year, but I still like Paszek to get through this match. Sania Mirza is also in this section and I like her to get through to the quarterfinals, but Paszek is playing with too much confidence right now.
Dokic is the favorite to get through this section, but she could face a tough challenge in the quarterfinals. Elena Baltacha, Yaroslava Shvedova, Misaki Doi and Virginie Razzano are all in this section. I like Doi, who is coming off a solid Wimbledon, to get through. However, I think Dokic will have enough firepower to make it to the semifinals.
Petrova is the top player in this section, but there are some decent players in her part of the draw. Bojana Jovanovski, Jill Craybas and Allison Riske could be factors. I think Petrova and Jovanovski will meet in the quarters with Petrova coming out on top.
Peer vs. Paszek
While Peer is the veteran player, Paszek has been on the rise lately. She is brimming with confidence and I think she will outlast Peer in a tough encounter.
Winner: Paszek in three sets
Dokic vs. Petrova
This should also be a great battle. Two experienced, former top five players, going at it. I think Dokic has played a little better this season and will get through to the final.
Winner: Dokic in three sets
Paszek vs. Dokic
Another quality matchup between two players who are in solid form. Dokic has the firepower, but her game can go off at any time. The course of a long week may take its toll in the final. I think Paszek is in a little better shape and will pull out the title.
Winner: Paszek in three sets
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