Luxemburg 31 okt 2004 R32: Asagoe (39) 0-6 7-61 1-6
Michaella Krajicek versus Shinobu Asagoe
Hey guys! The Tour Championships are nearing as yet another woman has qualified. Maria Sharapova joins the illustrious list of 5 women to have previously qualified. Two spots remain. Serena and Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, and Vera Zvonareva all have legitimate chances of getting in. The next two weeks are crucial and all four players are playing. Last week, we witnessed Alicia Molik knock out 4 Top 20 stalwarts en route to her first Tier 1 crown. Her varying shot selection disturbed the teen queen Sharapova in the final and coupled with a monstrous serve, she won the title. As well as Alicia and Maria, another young woman gained some respect in Zurich. 16 year old Ana Ivanovic displayed incredible courage and craft in beating Tatiana Golovin before losing to Venus in two stunning tiebreaks. She obtained five set points total in both sets and caused Venus hindrance. Ana is playing this week in Luxembourg and beat Anne Kremer yesterday to set up a showdown with Asagoe or teen prodigy Michaella Krajicek. Enjoy the preview!
Michaella Krajicek versus Shinobu Asagoe
Before I begin my preview, I must point something out. There are 30 women in the draw in Luxembourg and 7 of them are teenagers. So I will briefly discuss each teenager so that you guys can understand a bit about them. Ana Ivanovic has been superior on the ITF circuit and reached the finals of Junior Wimbledon. Last week she dismissed 4 Top 100 players before losing to Venus Williams. Michaella Krajicek, 15, is this years Junior US Open champ and has had a dominant few years on the junior circuit. She is Richard Krajicek's half sister. Dinara Safina,18, is Marat Safin's sister and has already won an event on the Tour. Emma Laine, 18, is the least known of this list. She has 4 ITF wins this year and was a semifinalist in most of the junior majors last year. Carly Gullickson , 17, has played a few Tour events which include a quarterfinal in Memphis last year. Tatiana Golovin, 16, has had a career year on the circuit. She reached the fourth round at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She also was a runner up to Sharapova in Birmingham. Finally Ana-Lena Groenefeld , 19, has played in 3 of the 4 Slams this year and has won two 75,000 dollar ITF events. So, now you know about the 7 magical ladies playing in Luxembourg. Enjoy the preview.
Not many tennis fans know about Michaella Krajicek. They see her last name and immediately associate her with '96 Wimbledon champ Richard. She posesses the dominance of a champion. Her senior experience is limited though. This is only her third event after '03 and '04 s'Hertogenbosch. She has never won a main draw match but hopes to change that here in Luxembourg. In the summer she won two 10K ITF events. She also scored a big win in the Fed Cup this year for Holland over Scheepers. But Michaella's success has been mostly in the juniors. She is the current World number 1 and has lost only 6 matches this year. Only one of those losses was a straight set defeat, which says that Michaella isn't easy to put away. She started off the year with a win in Germany over Bacsinszky and Szavay. She then was a semifinalist in her next three tournaments. With losses to Niculescu in Croatia, Govortsova in Italy, and Azarenka in the Italian Open, Krajicek was feeling down. She entered Roland Garros without much confidence which ultimately caused her to be excused by the new Swiss Miss Timea Bacsinszky in the quarters. She rebounded on the grass in England with a dominant Roehampton win. She went to Wimbledon brimming with confidence but lost a close match to eventual champ, Katerina Bondarenko in the semis. At the Canadian Open, she was shocked by our own Stephanie Dubois. She followed up that disappointing loss with a win in Flushing Meadows over Erakovic, Azarenka, and Kirkland. She was also a doubles stand out this year with wins in the French, Canadian, and US Opens. Michaella had to qualify into Luxembourg and did so with impressive wins over Abramovic, Obziler, and Minella. In this match, Krajicek should look to be as aggressive as possible and attack Asagoe's serve.
Shinobu Asagoe turned pro when Krajicek was in grade 3! That shows us that she is a seasoned veteran on the Tour playing a hot up and comer. This year has been a productive one for Asagoe. She started off her year as a finalist in Hobart before losing to Frazier. She lost first round in Melbourne to eventual semifinalist, Zuluaga. After Melbourne, Shinobu lost three straight matches to teens. She lost to Vaidisova at Acapulco, Golovin at Indian Wells, and Sharapova in Miami. Sign of the future? Her next big tournament was the French Open. She scored upset wins over Hantuchova and Schnyder before playing Dulko in the third round. Shinobu battled for hours before defeating the gaucho. She then handily lost to Serena Williams. Her next and last big showing was at the US Open. She reached the quarterfinals with wins over Smashnova, Craybas, Suarez, and Daniilidou before being dismantled by Lindsay Davenport. Shinobu is a great counter puncher with solid strokes. She'll move Krajicek around before taking control.
Who has the Edge?
Volley- Asagoe narrowly.
I hope that this match is a tense one but probably won't be. Mischa pulled out a 7-6 in the third win yesterday so must be pooped. If she is alert and mobile, she should challenge Asagoe. For Michaella, make sure you attack her serve. For Shinobu, engage Krajicek in long rallies and tire her out before utilising your stamina.
Matt's Pick: I would LOVE to see a Krajicek-Ivanovic showdown but that's unlikely. The Japanese veteran will tire out the Dutch wonder child 6-4 6-1.
|Vergeet Richard als je naar Misa Krajicek kijkt 28 oktober 2004|
|Michaella Krajicek versus Shinobu Asagoe 31 oktober 2004|