Angelique Kerber v Maria Sharapova
The top billing for the quarter-finals in Beijing will see Angelique Kerber take on Maria Sharapova. Kerber improved her stunning record in three set matches this year to 20-2 with a 6-1 2-6 6-4 victory over Caroline Wozniacki in the third round. It was Kerber’s third win over the former world number one in 2012, but by far the toughest of those encounters as she stole the all important break at the death of a high quality deciding set.
Maria Sharapova has cruised through her last two matches and was totally dominant against Polona Hercog, 6-0 6-2. Kerber and Sharapova have met three times this year with Sharapova leading 2-1. I originally had Kerber through and I am going wacky today and sticking by my original prediction. Kerber has not been playing as well lately but she still has the beating of Sharapova with a strong serving performance…
Prediction – Kerber to beat Sharapova in 3 sets
Li Na v Agnieszka Radwanska
Li Na is just one win away from claiming the final spot at this year’s Year-Ending-Championships. It was not easy though as she recovered from a 5-3 third set deficit to pass her gritty compatriot Peng Shuai, 4-6 6-2 7-6. She now takes on Agnieszka Radwanska who laboured to a three set win over Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 2-6 6-1 6-4. Radwanska struggled with numerous injuries in this match and edged an ugly final set, which saw 7 breaks of serve. Li and Radwanska met twice during the summer hard court season where Li trounced the world number three on both occasions. Radwanska was both tired and injured during those encounters and she looks to be heading to that state once more in Beijing. I think Radwanska will put up more of a fight this time, but ultimately Li should win this match…
Prediction – Li to beat Radwanska in 2 sets
|Carla Suarez Navarro
Carla Suarez Navarro v Marion Bartoli
Jelena Jankovic‘s routine progression through the draw was too good to be true as she ran into Carla Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard won 7-5 6-4, saving five set points in the first set and recovering from a 2-5 deficit. Suarez Navarro now takes on Marion Bartoli, who also came through a tight two setter against Julia Goerges, 6-3 7-6. Bartoli has won all her matches this week in straight sets and is having a very solid tournament so far. Bartoli and Suarez Navarro have never met before on the tour. I think Bartoli will cruise this quarter-final and she will take the time away from the Spaniard and not allow her to bring that magnificent one-handed backhand into action.
Prediction – Bartoli to beat Suarez Navarro in 2 sets
Victoria Azarenka v Romina Oprandi
Beijing saw a host of shocks last year and this time round has been no different as the unseeded Romina Oprandi will take on Victoria Azarenka in the quarters. Oprandi has had a very impressive week taking out Urszula Radwanska in her opener and then beating Ana Ivanovic in the round of 16, 6-4 6-3. Azarenka has looked in complete control so far this week; she did not play her best in her second round match with Sabine Lisicki, but was never troubled. She then cruised past Elena Vesnina, 6-3 6-3 in the third round. Azarenka and Oprandi are 1-1 in their head-to-head although Azarenka won their most recent match at Wimbledon allowing Oprandi just two games in a demolition. I cannot look past Azarenka prevailing…
Prediction – Azarenka to beat Oprandi in 2 sets
You can view my original predictions for Beijing HERE… I correctly predicted five of the eight quarter-finalists.