By Erik Gudris/ Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Two must-see matches with Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams highlight Day 3 at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul.
Photo Credit: AP
A pair of must-see matches should make Day 3 at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul a memorable one.
Jelena Jankovic vs. Li Na
Jankovic, with her surprise win over No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday, blew the White Group wide open in terms of who can make the semifinals.
READ - Jankovic Surprises Azarenka in Istanbul
With Li Na already tied with Jankovic with a win apiece, this round robin duel is a must-win for both. Li leads the overall head-to-head five to four. That includes a rather easy win over Jankovic in their last meeting at this year's US Open. But Jankovic is playing with a lot confidence under the lights of Istanbul. "When I have a smile on my face, I think I get more dangerous, too," she said of her win over Azarenka.
Jankovic certainly is proving to be a dangerous foe this week. While Li herself looked more or less in form after her win over Sara Errani, the Chinese superstar will have to raise her level to take out Jankovic.
Li will be the favorite, but somehow this feels like another opportunity to smile for the Serbian.
Pick: Jankovic in three
Angelique Kerber vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
Radwanska already finds herself down 0-2 in Red Group round robin results. That makes her path to the semis almost impossible now. But she'll have to find motivation from somewhere if she wants to take out the German lefty.
Kerber, despite losing to Serena Williams earlier, is still in the hunt for the semis. Though some questioned her lackluster performance in that earlier match versus the No. 1, Kerber's had a day off to reflect and perhaps get her game back in gear.
Both women have split their last two previous meetings, so this match could go the distance.
Pick: Radwanska in three
Petra Kvitova vs. Serena Williams
The early matchup everyone looked forward to could well decide who finishes first in the Red Group. Kvitova displayed power and composure in a rare straight sets win over Radwanska earlier in the week.
She will need to play even better if she wants to have a chance against Williams who, again, is the pre-event favorite. The Czech certainly has the game and weapons to test Williams. But even at her best, will it be enough?
It almost happened in their last meeting in Doha that went three sets before Williams won, and in doing so, reclaimed the No. 1 ranking.
Kvitova may have to hope she catches Williams on a rare off-day and do her best to seize the moment. But that's usually when Williams finds a way to raise her level and again prove why she is world's best.
Pick: Williams in two