- the season's still going and I know that you can pick it up here in Miami
You can do it
Pistolesi's Look Forward: Miami
It's do or die for Anna Pistolesi.
When the year started, Auckland, Canberra, Indian Wells, and Miami were at the top of the list along with a few scattered tournaments during the clay season. After reaching the SF in Auckland, as we all know, the disastrous injury ended her Australian Open warm tournaments run. Unable to defend even 1 point at Canberra, she watched a small slide in the ranking. The Australian Open brought a little hope.
But last week was nothing like the Smashnova of 2002. This year's Pistolesi fell to Cara Black in surprisingly easy form - a tiebreak and then a break would do it for the Israeli. Thus, she's won 2 of her last 7 matches, both at the Australian Open, including one retirement. And with clay season just around the corner, Miami is her last shot at sine huge points to keep herself in the top 20.
Despite only a third round showing in 2002, her win over 6th seed Justine Henin was not only a huge win but major points towards her ranking.
(3)K. Clijsters vs. Bye
J. Jackson vs. Y. Jeong Cho
M. Matevzic vs. C. Black
Bye vs. (27)P. Suarez
(22)L. Raymond vs. Bye
Qualifier vs. P. Shuai
F. Zuluaga vs. A. Roesch
Bye vs. (15)A. Pistolesi
Not as pretty as we'd all hoped. It's almost certain that Anna will oben against Fabiola Zuluaga, who may as well be Serena Williams while playing in Colombia. But this is the United States and on hardcourt. A battle of the true clayplayers will reveal some interesting business. Zuluaga probably hits harder than Pistolesi, but Pistolesi's motor will be turned on for this one.
In the third round, the Pistolesi finds the American Lisa Raymond. The court speed is highly important to this match. Raymond, who favors fastcourts, would not appreciate an Indian Wells like speed that would definitely benefit the Israeli. The contrast of doubles work to speed backboarding should play out fine in the battle of my second and third favorites (Lisa Raymond is from a town close to mine
The player to beat, Kim Clijsters, comes up in the fourth round. If Ai Sugiyama can do it, so can Anna, right? Just to be safe, I think I'll stop with this match and let you decide.
79 points may not seem like a lot, but there is a 250 points gap between the players ranked #20 (Anna Pistolesi) and #27 (Alexandra Stevenson). A second round win is vital to defending these points and keeping her ranking in the range. A second round loss could drop her out of the top 20. A third round win would be amazing and would probably keep her at the ranking she is now or at least bump her up one spot.