2017 Tokyo Pan Pacific Open Predictions
Wozniacki d. Pavlyuchenkova in three – Two factors – it depends on whether Pavlyuchenkova is able to stay consistent enough and maintain her focus and whether Wozniacki can block out the fact she’s 0-6 in finals this season. Wozniacki leads the head to head 5-1 but their last encounter was in 2012 so it’ll be a different ball game. Going to side with Wozniacki as she looked impressive against Muguruza but I’m not sure if the finals record thing will get to her again…
Muguruza d. Wozniacki in three – Wozniacki’s game wasn’t particularly impressive in the early stages against Cibulkova but she was really aggressive on the big points, saving two match points in the process. Muguruza was her playing her usual aggressive tennis against Garcia and was equally impressive in her offensive and defensive game. I think Wozniacki will need to have a super aggressive plan to get past Muguruza, if not the Spaniard will probably blast her off the court and leave Wozniacki with no answers.
Kerber d. Pavlyuchenkova in three – Kerber leads the head to head 5-4, but Pavlyuchenkova won their previous encounter in Monterrey. Pavlyuchenkova has looked widely erratic but has always found a second gear in the third set to win her matches. Meanwhile, Kerber is looking excellent in Tokyo, having seemed to find her form and played a super impressive match against Pliskova. I think Pavlyuchenkova needs to keep her focus and try to find some consistency, if not Kerber will start to counter-punch and start exploiting Pavlyuchenkova’s movement.
Muguruza d. Garcia in two – First time match-up. Muguruza has sometimes been blasted off court by the big hitters, but I think her great defensive skills will trouble Garcia to go for more. Muguruza should be way too consistent for the Frenchwoman.
Cibulkova d. Wozniacki in three – Wozniacki leads a colourful head to head 9-4, with their first meeting coming all the way in 2007. On a usual 2017 day I would say Wozniacki would be too solid for Cibulkova – however Dominika has been playing super inspired tennis in Tokyo, blasting past two decent opponents in Suarez Navarro and Siniakova. I think if she is patient enough she should be able to get past the defenses of Wozniacki, who looked a little slow-footed against Rogers.
Strycova d. Pavlyuchenkova in three – While Pavlyuchenkova leads the head 3-0, I think she might find it a little tough to get past the Strycova defense, which was shown so many times against Konta where Strycova turned defense into offence tons of time during the match. Pavlyuchenkova is experiencing some serving woes and I think if she can’t clean up her game then Strycova will get the win.
Pliskova d. Kerber in three – Kerber leads another interesting head to head 5-3, but they haven’t met since last year’s US Open final and since then their careers have changed completely. Kerber is exactly the type of player that Pliskova struggles against – get many balls back, turn defense to offense. However as we all know Kerber is not in her best form and in the match against Osaka at NYC she showed how vulnerable was she against big-hitters. Pliskova is playing decent tennis right now and although I think she might lose a set, she should be able to overpower the German in three.
Round 2 (7/8)
Muguruza d. Puig in two – Ideal opener for Muguruza in her first outing as No.1. Puig has been really erratic this season and Muguruza should capitalise on that.
Garcia d. Nara in three – Interesting to see that Nara actually leads the head to head, 2-1. Nara will make things tough for Garcia with her counter-punching ability and with the support of the home crowd, I think she can make this competitive but ultimately Garcia’ll pull through.
Wozniacki d. Rogers in three – Wozniacki had a really poor showing in the US Open and Rogers is those type of players that can blast off the Dane on a good day. Still, Wozniacki is the more experienced on these Tokyo courts and really loves the conditions. I think her consistency will pay off in the end.
Cibulkova d. Siniakova in two – Having seen Siniakova’s first round performance I am not so sure she can make this difficult for Cibulkova. Cibulkova played an amazing first round match against Suarez Navarro and seemed back to her best. If she can discover that form again she should win this one.
Pavlyuchenkova d. Wang in three – I’ve went for Pavlyuchenkova – Wang is the more solid player and secured a crushing win over Mladenovic in the first round. Pavlyuchenkova struggled on serve in her win over Bellis and really needs to step it up over a consistent Wang. I think Pavlyuchenkova can win this if on fire but anything streaky and the Chinese player will wrap it up.
Konta d. Strycova in three – Like the sound of this one, pits both players with similar game styles. Konta seems to be a bit in a lull since Wimbledon and always seems a little streaky after a long break; I’ll still expect her to win this though with her mental toughness.
Kerber d. Kasatkina in three – Kasatkina leads the head to head 2-1, with both wins coming this seaosn which was the start of a rocky spell for Kerber. Kasatkina is a bad match-up for Kerber in the sense that she gives little pace for Kerber to redirect. I think Kasatkina will make this very competitive given the fact she has beaten Kerber before, but I think the German is more experienced on these courts and seems to be finding her feet in Tokyo.
Ka.Pliskova d. Linette in two – Linette seemed to be struggling with an ab injury. Pliskova crushed her in the US Open and I think she should do so again here.
Round 1 (7/12)
Hsieh d. Puig in three – Puig is enduring a really bad year and has not won back-to-back matches in main draws since Acapulco. I think Puig will really struggle against Hsieh with her erratic gamestyle as Hsieh is those type of players that will chase down the balls and entangle you with her variety.
Putintseva d. Nara in three – Putintseva leads the head to head 4-1. Nara notched her first top 10 win against Kuznetsova in the US Open but lost in the second round in the Tokyo International tournament to Wang Qiang, while Putintseva fell in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Diyas. Both players have similar gamestyles and Nara has the home ground advantage but I’ll still stick with the head to head. (Strange I put Nara in my draw challenge but whatever…)
Garcia d. Sasnovich in two – I think it’s a decent match-up for Garcia. Sasnovich will put in a good fight but I don’t think it’ll be enough.
Rogers d. Ozaki in two – Classic offensive vs defensive match-up, Rogers did well in NYC and should be able to capitalise on Ozaki’s lack of pace.
Siniakova d. Cepelova in two – Siniakova leads the head to head 2-0, I think she should have too much class for Cepelova.
Cibulkova d. Suarez Navarro in three – Cibulkova leads the head to head 4-2 and 4-1 on hard courts. Suarez Navarro showed some form in NYC while Cibulkova fell disappointingly to eventual champ Stephens. I think the courts favour both players but Cibulkova always manages to generate a little more power in this match-up to win the big points.
Wang d. Mladenovic in two – Wang’s the type of player that plays smart and knows when to play aggressively. Against a low-confidence Mladenovic who is on a six-match losing streak, I think she can take advantage of this opportunity.
Bellis d. Pavlyuchenkova in three – First time match-up and I’m already loving it. This is the type of player Bellis can struggle with if Pavlyuchenkova is on a hot streak but that is not the case as the Russian fell disappointingly to McHale in the US Open in a super patchy display. You never know with Pavlyuchenkova as she can produce a blistering performance anytime but I’m still going for Bellis who is the more solid one and can take advantage when Pavlyuchenkova’s level drops during the match.
Strycova d. Rybarikova in three – Strycova leads the head to head 2-1 but their last meeting was in 2013. I thjnk Rybarikova can cause a lot of problems for Strycova but if the latter manages to not lose focus I think she can win this one.
Kasatkina d. Brengle in two – Both have similar gamestyles but Kasatkina seems to be injecting more aggression into her game and should be able to do that against Brengle.
Osaka d. Kerber in three – I have no words, I feel so sorry for Kerber 😦 However, I still think Angie has a chance if Osaka isn’t able to replicate the form which she had at NYC where she absolutely crushed the ball in every rally. I think being out of the top 10 will help Kerber but I don’t think she’ll be able to get through this one to be honest…
Gavrilova d. Linette in three – I think Gavrilova should win this comfortably but I feel it could go three…
Full Draw Predictions