The 2012 BNP Paribas Open on the women's side has been.... interesting. It hasn't necessarily been thrilling, or enthralling, or capitvating, or any other adjective that would convey excitement. It hasn't been boring, though, and we've learned a lot about some of the top contenders and will continue to as the tournament goes into its final stages. Before we get to them, it's important to take a second and commend New Jersey native Christina McHale for her star-making performance this week. She defeated Petra Kvitova in a tight three set match. Perhaps the biggest win of her career, she was defeated by German Angelique Kerber in a third set tiebreak in a match that she held a few match points. It was a great tournament for her, and as the quarterfinals begin, let's take a look at the rest of the women's tournament.
BNP Paribas Open- Women's Singles
Victoria Azarenka vs. Agniezska Radwanksa
Angelique Kerber vs. Li Na
Marion Bartoli vs. Ana Ivanovic
Maria Kirilenko vs. Maria Sharapova
Top Seeds Eliminated: Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Samantha Stosur
The blockbuster quarterfinal has to be Azarenka vs. Radwanska. Both players are in form, and Azarenka, at 20-0, is the best women's player in the world right now. Radwanska is also very hot right now, and the winner of this match should win this title. The match itself is tough to predict, but I think Azarenka should win this in three tough sets. Radwanska plays up to her opponents, and that will make life difficult for Azarenka. The top ranked Belarusian is just playing too well.
Li Na has great tournaments. She also has awful ones. This is one of the good ones, and she should beat the German Kerber fairly easily, but I don't think she'll be able to defeat Azarenka and then either Ivanovic, Bartoli, or Sharapova. But then again, maybe she'll continue to shock.
Bartoli has been near invisible this tournament, but she's doing what she has to. She'll be in the spotlight against Ivanovic, who pulled off one of the best wins of her career in dismissing Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-2 in 70 minutes. It was a great result for her, and now she'll get Bartoli. If she stays healthy, and that's always an if, she should be able to advance to the semis.
Maria Sharapova is playing extraordinary tennis, and she shouldn't have any problem with Kirilenko. If she does lose, then that would be nothing less than a very disappointing result.
Azarenka def. Radwanska, Na def. Kerber, Ivanovic def. Bartoli. Sharapova def. Kirilenko
Azarenka def. Na, Ivanovic def. Sharapova
Azarenka def. Ivanovic