(Results for all matches have been included, and Changeover Staff Pick Standings can be found at the bottom – Lindsay went 4 for 4 and correctly predicted the number of sets in all matches!)
ATP 250 – Doha
Final: Nikolay Davydenko vs Richard Gasquet
Time: 10:00 AM ET – Saturday, January 5th
Head to Head: 3-2, Gasquet
Gasquet won, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3
Amy’s Pick: Hard match to predict. After seeing Davydenko demolish Ferrer, hardly having to break a sweat, I have to pick him in straights. His career record in finals is amazing, and I expect that to continue.
Juan José’s Pick: Playstation tennis is back! Davydenko was simply spectacular today, demolishing soon-to-be World Number 4 David Ferrer 2 and 3 with an array of his trademark lasers from the baseline. Will he play at that insanely high level tomorrow? Not likely – but I don’t think Davydenko will need to. The former World No. 3 is an underrated finals player: out of 27 previous finals, he’s only lost six. Gasquet, on other hand, has lost 10 of the 17 finals he’s been in. I think the Playstation will have an easy time with Mr. “Top 15 is my level” tomorrow, winning in straight sets.
Lindsay’s Pick: I could not be more excited about this final. I love you, 2013! Having Kolya back playing top-level tennis is a dream come true, and it’s also nice that Gasquet is starting out the year on the right foot. Gasquet leads their H2H 3-2, though they split their two meetings last year. This is a toss-up but I’m going to go with Gasquet in three.
WTA International Event – Auckland
Final (Agnieszka Radwanska vs Yanina Wickmayer)
Time: 08:00 PM ET – Friday, January 4th
Head to Head: 1-1
Radwanska won, 6-4, 6-4
Amy’s Pick: Radwanska is the better player by a mile, and barring any meltdowns, she should take it in straight sets.
Juan José’s Pick: The Number 4-ranked Polish Ninja is also an underrated finals player: she’s 10 and 4. Wickmayer, on the other hand, is not: 3 and 5, although one of those 3 was Auckland three years ago. No matter: Radwanska will run away with this match in two easy sets.
Lindsay’s Pick: Jamie Hampton gave Radwanska quite a scare yesterday, and in theory Wicky is a much better player than Hampton. Also, I’m shocked to see that Wicky has a win over Aga in 2010 on hard-courts in Poland in Fed Cup play. But I’m going to discount that. Aga will do just enough to make Wicky implode, and it will be very entertaining in the way that Wicky implosions always are. Aga in two.
WTA Premier Event – Brisbane
Final: Serena Williams vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Time: 4:00 AM ET – Saturday, January 5th
Head to Head: 3-0, Williams
Williams won, 6-2, 6-1
Amy’s Pick: It’s pretty hard to beat Serena these days. Serena in two.
Juan José’s Pick: Serena was really into it vs Sloane Stephens, and I think she was relishing the chance to take on Azarenka, until the pedicure from hell ruined that very intriguing semifinal. The little that I saw from the Pavs early this morning wasn’t very encouraging. However, I do think the Russian will manage to take the second set, and then lose meekly in three.
Lindsay’s Pick: It’s nice to have Pavs “back” after she lost her way in 2012, but the biggest impression she’ll make in this match is with her pout. Serena in straights.
WTA International Event – Shenzhen
Final: Li Na vs Klara Zakopalova
Time: 1:00 AM ET – Saturday, January 5th
Head to Head: 2-1, Zakopalova
Li won, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5
Amy’s Pick: Li Na is always hard to predict, but I’ll take her in three sets over Zakopalova.
Juan José’s Pick: This head to head is beyond strange. No sets have been close! Li Na’s only win was a 1 and love drubbing at Indian Wells last year. Does that mean Li Na figured Zakopalova out? I have no idea. I do remember Li Na’s erratic performance at the WTA Championships, so I will pick her to win this match solely because she’s playing in China. It will be a bitter struggle, though: three tight sets. Gamblers beware.
Lindsay’s Pick: So, this event is new, right? I am so behind on 2013, but more about that later. I’ve always liked Zakapalova’s game and pretty much everything about her, but I’m riding and dying with the Li Na train this year. Picking her and Carlos in three.
Lindsay: 4-0 Correct Number of Sets Picked: 4
Amy: 3-1 Correct Number of Sets Picked: 3
Juan José: 3-1 Correct Number of Sets Picked: 2