Victoria Azarenka (1) v Marion Bartoli (7)
Azarenka faced her biggest test on Monday as she came within a whisker of suffering her first loss of the year at the hands of the hard-hitting Slovakian, Dominika Cibulkova. She fought brilliantly to pull the win out of the bag, but she will need to pick up her form in the next round against Marion Bartoli. The world number 7 started the tournament slowly but has been picking up her game round-by-round and looked in sensational form as she sailed past Maria Kirilenko, 6-1 6-2.
This will be the sixth time in the last three years that Azarenka and Bartoli have faced off against each other at the quarter-final stage of a tournament. It will be very interesting to see how Azarenka responds to her 4th round nailbiter. I fancy a very difficult match, but give Vika the edge to prevail…
Prediction – Azarenka in 2 very tight sets
Agnieszka Radwanska (5) v Venus Williams
Venus Williams will attempt to continue her fairytale week in Miami as she faces the new world number 4, Agnieszka Radwanska. Venus, who has been taken to 3 sets in her last 3 matches, served her way past trouble in the 4th round with a 6-7 6-2 6-2 victory over Ana Ivanovic. Radwanska has looked in good form this week, but has not been tested by her three opponents who have ranked in at numbers 72, 208 and 285. She will now play the world number 134, but that poses a whole different challenge.
This match will show how far Radwanska has come in the last year as Venus’s power game has been too much for the Pole in their last three encounters. Radwanska is a much better player since their last match, which took place in Miami two years ago, but I still question whether she has what it takes to beat an aggressive and free-flowing Venus…
Prediction – Venus in 3 sets