With Marcos Baghdatis retiring at the Medibank International tournament I predicted Victor Troicki and Ernest Gulbis to make the final. Troicki is in the final but Gulbis lost in the SFs. Instead Gilles Simon takes the other spot. Both have been playing well so it will be a tough match. Del Potro managed to beat Lopez, after more than 3 hours but subsequently lost to Florian Mayer, I think Del Potro's return will be like that of Maria Sharapova, slow but steady (hopefully).
At the Heineken Open I said I could easily see any of the top 8 seeds winning, subsequently the top 8 besides Juan Monaco and Albert Montanes made the QFs. In the final is David Ferrer and David Nalbandian. Just to give you some context, Ferrer leads their head to head match ups 6-5, though Nalbandian has won their last three meetings (all the way back to the French Masters in 2007). I personally think Nalbandian will win the match based of their previous matches and his cleaner record at the tournament, though both players will surely make it difficult for each other.
Just to mention, Lleyton Hewitt will be playing Gael Monfils at the AAMI Classic (aka the Kooyong Classic). Both the top seeds Berdych and Verdasco lost in the first round though I wouldn't mark them out of contention just yet.
On the women's side, as predicted, Kim Clijsters made the final but unpredictably she lost to Na Li! Go on girl! Could Na Li shock at the Aussies? Wozniacki (top seed) suffered a straight sets loss to Dominika Cibulkova, one of the many threats on her side of the draw. I'm not sure this bodes well for the Dane a week before the Australian Open. However unexpectedly it was Alisa Kleybanova who won that quarter of the draw, eventually losing to Kim Clijsters. Kim looked in superb form in her first three matches, thrashing all her opponents - including Victoria Azarenka, but saw a blip against Kleybanova and then lost to Na Li. Samantha Stosur managed to beat Wickmayer without facing a breakpoint but then lost to Kuznetsova who subsequently lost to Na Li. Jelena Jankovic lost in the first round whilst Vera Zvonareva lost to Flavia Pennetta. It seems like most of the seeds were in trouble this week, hopefully not all will be in trouble the next week.
At Hobart Safina continued her drought, this time losing to Bartoli 6-0,6-1 - OUCH! However Bartoli, the favourite for the title, disappointed her fans (which do not include myself) by losing before the finals to Klara Zakopalova in the QFs. The title will be contested by Jarmila Groth and Bethanie Mattek Sands... come again! I didn't expect that at all, maybe Groth because she is playing in her home country but Mattek Sands was a stunner. On the other hand Shuai Peng looks in very good form. In British news Elena Baltacha made the second round losing to Roberta Vinci.
Next week will be the Australian Open - can't wait!