WTA Tokyo: Quarter-Final Predictions

Maria Sharapova

1. Sam Stosur v Maria Sharapova

Sam Stosur was forced to fight hard to get past Francesca Schiavone in the second round, but had things easier in the third round as she defeated Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets.  Stosur will now play Maria Sharapova in a blockbuster quarter-final match.  Sharapova beat Lucie Safarova, 6-2 7-6, in a break-happy match featuring 12 breaks of serve.  The last time Stosur and Sharapova faced each other was in Stuttgart where Sharapova won an absolute epic in arguably the best WTA match this year.  Sharapova has won ten of their last eleven matches, but Stosur has gone toe-to-toe with the Russian in their last two matches and has the belief she can win following a victory in the round robin stage at the YEC last year.  I like how Sam has been playing lately and I am going for an upset here…
Prediction – Stosur to beat Sharapova in 2 tight sets

2. Agnieszka Radwanska v Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki set up a quarter-final match with Agnieszka Radwanska following a 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Li Na.  It was Wozniacki’s first top 10 win of the year although the stats were not kind on this match; I have never seen someone win a match with just six winners in a three set match lasting two and a half hours.  Li Na’s 70+ unforced error count had a large factor in Wozniacki’s win.  Radwanska defeated Jamie Hampton, 6-4 6-3 to follow up her second round win over Jelena Jankovic.  Wozniacki holds a significant edge in their head-to-head although Radwanska did manage a win in their last encounter in Sydney, which stopped a run of five straight wins from Wozniacki.  This promises to be a very close match between two good friends; I am going for Radwanska to win…
Prediction – Radwanska to beat Wozniacki in 3 sets
3. Victoria Azarenka v Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber has not been tested at all this week as she strolled into her first ever quarter-finals in Tokyo with a thrashing of Urszula Radwanska, 6-1 6-1.  Victoria Azarenka was forced to work a little harder as she defeated Roberta Vinci, 6-4 6-2.  If their last match is anything to go by then this should be a cracker.  Azarenka edged past Kerber, 6-4 7-5 at the Olympics in a match that featured a number of terrific rallies.  Kerber has failed to get a hold of Azarenka having failed to win a set off the Belarusian world number one in their two matches this year and I think she will struggle to reach Azarenka’s level once again.
Prediction – Azarenka to beat Kerber in 2 sets

4. Sara Errani v Nadia Petrova
Sara Errani continued her stunning 2012 with another quarter-final follwoing an impressive win over Marion Bartoli as she recovered from the loss of the first set to win, 3-6 6-2 6-2.  Nadia Petrova also had to play three sets in an absolute epic with Petra Martic, 7-6 6-7 6-4 that lasted over 3 hours.  I have really underestimated Errani before but I think she might have the beating of Petrova.  She enjoyed a comprehensive win in their only previous encounter at this year’s Australian Open.  She has also become extremely match tough as she demonstrated from today’s comeback victory and in that department, she is far stronger than Petrova who could crack at any moment…
Prediction – Errani to beat Petrova in 3 sets

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