1.Sabine Lisicki v Kaia Kanepi
Wow… I wrote in my preview yesterday that Sabine Lisicki was one of the few players who I felt had the belief to challenge Serena and boy did she show that today. Lisicki produced a sensational performance to come from a break down in the third set to BEAT Serena Williams, 6-2 1-6 6-4 in a fantastic match on Centre Court. Lisicki held her nerve so well when she served for the match despite throwing in one double fault, but Serena really tailed off towards the end and was not hitting the ball with the convinction we are used to seeing. Lisicki will now take on Kaia Kanepi in a big hitting quarter-final after she took out Laura Robson in a tight two setter, 7-6(6) 7-5. Laura served for the first set, but props to Kanepi who managed to hold her nerve to progress on her fifth match point.
This should be a really fascinating match; both are huge servers and have had their greatest success at Wimbledon. Lisicki is now the favourite to win Wimbledon, but beating Serena is going to be incredibly difficult to top. Although Kanepi has been fantastic this week, I still do not trust her nerve. If you remember Kanepi should have made the semi-finals in 2010, but failed to convert on match points against Petra Kvitova. Lisicki too can struggle to hold her nerve at times, but I think she will be focused and the more intense player; therefore I am going with Sabine…
Prediction – Lisicki to beat Kanepi in 2 very tight sets
2. Marion Bartoli v Sloane Stephens
A battle for a spot in the top 10 will see Marion Bartoli square up against Sloane Stephens in an intriguing Wimbledon quarter-final. Bartoli has yet to drop a set and has had a pretty great week, particularly when you compare it to her 2013 season, which has featured just three quarter-final appearances on the WTA tour. Sloane has made her second Grand Slam quarter-final of the year, but I cannot help thinking she has got rather lucky again. Still, I give her credit for navigating her way past Petra Cetkovska and today, Monica Puig in what was by all accounts, a lively and physical battle. Bartoli and Stephens have met once before at New Haven last year where Bartoli won a lopsided three setter. I am actually looking forward to this match, perhaps the most out of all 4 quarter-finals and feel quite decisive in saying I think Bartoli will make the semi-finals.
Prediction – Bartoli to beat Stephens in 3 sets
3. Petra Kvitova v Kirsten Flipkens
It wasn’t particularly pretty, but Petra Kvitova got the job done against Carla Suarez Navarro to confirm her place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the fourth successive year. Kvitova came through 7-6(5) 6-3 and now takes on Kirsten Flipkens, who reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final with a hard fought win over Flavia Pennetta, 7-6(2) 6-3. Pennetta twice served for the first set, but Flipkens was not to be denied and the damage was done after a fine tiebreak from the Belgian. Flipkens has beaten Kvitova this year, but that came at Kvitova’s worst tournament in Miami where she struggles to cope with the humidity because of her asthma. Flipkens has bucket loads of variety that can disrupt Kvitova and this will be another tough match. Kvitova is the only former Wimbledon champion in the draw and I think it will be her experience at this stage of a Grand Slam that gets her across the finishing line.
Prediction – Kvitova to beat Flipkens in 3 sets
4.Agnieszka Radwanska v Li Na
The only quarter-final that has held its form with the seeding is the 2nd match up on Centre between Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na. Radwanska had to come through another gruelling three setter as Tsvetana Pironkova threw the kitchen sink at the Pole, but she played another good match to come through 4-6 6-3 6-3 in 2 hours and 13 minutes. Li has avoided all the headlines, but had the most comfortable win of all eight winners today as she thumped Roberta Vinci, 6-2 6-0. I must admit Radwanska-Li matches do not interest me in the slightest and I have always found it a rather drab match-up. Li won their most recent match in Australia and I would be inclined to actually go for Li on this occasion! It is a difficult one to predict because there is absolutely no pattern to their previous head-to-head matches, which Li leads by 6 wins to 4. Aga is the better player on grass, but if Li can remain solid as she has done for the most of this tournament, she should come through to make her first Wimbledon semi-final…
Prediction – Li to beat Radwanska in 2 tight sets