Kuala Lumpur QF previews and picks: Wawrinka vs. Tursunov, Ferrer vs. Sousa

Top two seeds David Ferrer and Stanislas Wawrinka will be looking for spots in the Kuala Lumpur semifinals on Friday. They are set for respective meetings with Joao Sousa and Dmitry Tursunov. Hasan Murad previews the action.

(6) Dmitry Tursunov vs. (2) Stanislas Wawrinka

Wawrinka is bidding to win his second title of the year this week at the Malaysian Open. His next opponent is a potent Russian–Tursunov–who has two indoor hard-court titles to his name. Their lone previous meeting took place on the hard courts of Sydney 2008, when Tursunov emerged triumphant with little trouble. However, this match is not expected to unfold in a similar manner.

Although Tursunov is enjoying a resurgent year in which he is finally putting together good results on a relatively consistent basis (26-16 record) , he is up against a man who has  generated huge momentum after his best-ever finish at a Grand slam–a semifinal appearance at this summer’s U.S. Open. Wawrinka is an excellent all-court player and a solid 7-8 record against Top 10 players this year is clear evidence of his improved competitiveness and mental perseverance.  Tursunov is a clean ball-striker who can generate easy power off both wings, but it is the whimsicality in his game that has always made him vulnerable. Wawrinka looks poised to follow his impressive win against Marcos Baghtadis in the previous round with a victory over the 36th-ranked Russian.

Pick: Wawrinka in 2

(1)David Ferrer Vs. (SE) Joao Sousa

Ferrer will be looking to enter the semifinals of a tournament for the ninth time in 2013, as he faces Portugal’s Sousa in the quarterfinals of Bangkok. The 24-year-old Sousa is currently at a career-high ranking of 77th in the world and his career is certainly on the right track after he just registered his first-ever third-round appearance at a Grand Slam (2013 U.S. Open).

Sousa has won two Challenger titles this season and he reached his first-ever ATP semifinal last week in St. Petersburg, where he lost to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. His opponent, on the other hand, is known for his tenacity and ruthless consistency on all surfaces. Ferrer scored a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win in his previous match against Matteo Viola. Sousa does not have any major weapons with which to trouble Ferrer, so this one should be a routine victory for the French open runner-up.

Pick: Ferrer in 2

18 Comments on Kuala Lumpur QF previews and picks: Wawrinka vs. Tursunov, Ferrer vs. Sousa

  1. Davy can’t challenge Rafa on any surface now. He is a shadow of himself. I am not sure why he is still even playing.

    Tough luck for Rafa bumping up against Kohls in his second match at Beijing. The moment I saw him in Rafa’s draw, I just had to let out a sigh. It’s much different playing a best two out of three than a best three out of five. Rafa had the time at the USO to counter Kohls and his aggressive game. Here he won’t have that luxury.

    I tend to agree with vamosrafa. If Rafa can get past Kohls, I don’t see anyone stopping him before the final. Berdy seems to have a mental block when he plays Rafa. I don’t think Isner will even get there to play Rafa.

  2. Why so pessimistic? Kolbi has only ever beaten Rafa on one occasion and that was Halle 2012 straight after a gruelling RG and when he was already in dire straits with the knee.

    • Who is being pessimistic? I am being realistic. I didn’t say that Kohls will beat Rafa. I just don’t like seeing him up against this guy in only his second match. Kohls has shown that he has the game to give Rafa a match. If he plays the way he did at the USO, then it will be a tough match. But Rafa seems to thrive on that. He also knows what to expect from Kohls. No surprises there.

      We will have to see how sharp Rafa looks in his first match.

  3. @clayqueen, hahaha…thank you for the praise and yeah I need to do better with the predictions.. but you cant blame me for not picking sousa and benneteau to win lol…

    I have to preview the final now…still thinking who to pick in the final haha… just cant wait for rafaaaaaa

  4. Don’t worry vamosrafa, you don’t have a crystal ball. What we look for in your previews are analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the players ( based on current form) and how they match up.
    I would also love a postmatch review ( when Rafa plays) where you would analyze the actual match so we can guage where Rafa is at.

    In 2011, it was obvious to every one that Rafa had to find his forehand DTL, his AO 2009 backhand, he had to play closer to the baseline , be more aggressive etc. But Rafa wasn’t able to implement the strategy and lost 7 times consecutively breaking the hearts of Rafa fans.!
    Analysts then stopped watching Rafa’s game and blindly started predicting a Nole win in every match, even on clay!!!
    Predictions aren’t important. Intelligent analysis is important. If any of the pundits had bothered to actually analyze Rafa’s matches, they might have seen how Rafa was progressing.
    I am really nervous about China Open.
    Good Luck Rafa!!! Do well!!!

    • That was a throw-away comment regarding vamosrafa’s predictions. Note the ‘Lol’.

      It’s not the predictions that gets me it’s the reasons backing them. Cheryl and Ricky always dismissed Rafa’s chances on any thing but clay and always talked-up the others, even though the evidence is to the contrary. I remember Cheryl once saying there was no way Rafa would prevail against Murray on h/c, no matter what he did.

    • Second that, @holdserve, it would be nice if we could have post match analyses, especially of the important matches at least, so we can get another perspective on what went wrong/right. This would serve as a nice base for future predictions!

  5. EXCELLENT post holdserve…. I myself has always looked for the factors you have mentioned when reading match previews of others… you are spot on regarding the analysis thing on rafa’s game… the previews SHOULD cover the things you have mentioned…predictions are just for fun things.. even a fruit seller on a street who is clueless about tennis can make an accurate prediction ,but he cant preview in the manner you discussed..

    and yes, I will try my best to break down rafa’s game and provide in-depth post match analysis… I will try to do this for the other top players too…

    thanks for the suggestion ..loved ur post ! keep giving these valuable inputs, i learn so much from you guys

    • I also agree with holdserve’s post. It is very true that what we want when reading match previews, is solid analysis of the respective strengths and weaknesses of the respective players, where their games are at now, how they are playing and what each needs to do to win.

      I have no problem with a prediction being wrong. That’s why we have upsets in tennis.

      I think vamosrafa has been doing a great job! Keep it up!

  6. A new book is out:- Facing Federer

    Here is a bit of Tursunov’s take:

    “Again, I’m not trying to downsize Roger and he doesn’t need downsizing. I don’t think it’s necessary to bring him up to like a deity level of a player. He’s not. He’s defeatable. And Rafa’s proved it. Rafa doesn’t get affected by that. Mentally, he’s very disciplined. He’s able to just play his game pattern regardless of who he’s playing. He could be playing you, me, Roger, he doesn’t care. If Jesus comes down and starts floating on the court, he still plays the way he’s playing. And that’s why he’s able to defeat Roger, in large part. There’s a lot of other things. It’s not like Rafa doesn’t have any weapons. My point is, a lot of defeats against Roger happen psychologically. Players force themselves to step out of their comfort zone and they start making mistakes. It’s like going out on a date with a really hot girl. You’re probably going to try to make stupid jokes and then you’re going to feel like an idiot after that. That’s kind of how it feels. Just to sum it up [smiles].”

    The thread is well worth a read.

  7. @clayqueen, OF COURSE I know you were just joking around 🙂

    and hahaha thanks for sharing the above post …funny from the russian

  8. This site is getting better and better.
    It’s a true forum for discussion.

    Thank you everybody for the great input – particularly Vamasrafa.

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