WTA Charleston: Quarter-final preview

Nadia Petrova
Polona Hercog (14) v Nadia Petrova (13)
Hercog caused the upset of the tournament in the third round as she took out the number three seed, Marion Bartoli, 6-4 1-6 6-4.  The Slovenian showed great fight to recover from a 4-2 deficit in the third set and has flourished on the green clay this week.  Her opponent in the quarters is Nadia Petrova who eased past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1 6-4.  Petrova saved match points in her second round match and has done well to reach this stage.  Both players are comfortable on the clay and their head-to-head stands at 1-1.  It is a difficult one to predict because both have produced wildly inconsistent results so far this year but i’m going for experience in this one and siding with Petrova…
Prediction – Petrova in 3 sets

Vera Zvonareva (4) v Lucie Safarova (9)
This is only Zvonareva’s second quarter-final appearance of the year in what has been a poor start to 2012.  She struggled past Stefanie Voegele in the third round, 5-7 6-3 6-4, but showed that the fight is still there to pull out the win.  Lucie Safarova faced an in-form Aleksandra Wozniak and despite losing the second set on a tiebreak, was very impressive as she saved all eight break points she faced in a 6-2 6-7 6-1 victory.  Safarova appears to be playing with a little more consistency this year.  She has the game to beat the big players but has regularly shown that she cannot do this week in, week out.  Zvonareva leads the head-to-head 1-0, but I think Safarova will get the win today.
Prediction – Safarova in 2 tight sets

Sabine Lisicki (6) v Serena Williams (5)
Lisicki has struggled in her opening matches but came through both and looked to be slowly finding her feet on the clay in a third round win over Yaroslava Shvedova, 7-5 6-4.  Serena has routinely progressed through her two opening matches, just as she has for every tournament she has played this year.  It has been the latter stages where she has failed to bring her A game.  Lisicki and Serena last played at Stanford last year where Lisicki was soundly beaten 6-1 6-3.  Lisicki was my tip to win the title and i’m not going to go against my original prediction.  She has a big game (albeit fluctuating at times!) and she has a love for this tournament… going against Serena is always risky, but I like to take risks with my predictions 😉
Prediction – Lisicki in 3 sets

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