The third quarter of the women’s draw has lost both it’s top eight seeds promising a first Grand Slam semi-final for either Simona Halep, Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci or Camila Giorgi. I think it is always exciting to see a new player reach a big milestone at a Grand Slam and all four are highly capable players. In all honesty, Azarenka should have a breeze to the final based on the calibre of players although I am still intrigued by Halep and her terrific form in the second half of this year.
Where Wimbledon didn’t deliver, it looks highly likely that we will get a Federer-Nadal quarter-final at the US Open. I am annoyed I didn’t stick with Ferrer to the semi-finals because it was my original thought before joining the Janowicz hype train. The Spaniard has had a really straightforward draw, but he most often always delivers.
1. Richard Gasquet v Milos Raonic
Richard Gasquet will have another opportunity to better his woeful 1-15 record in 4th round Grand Slam matches when he takes on Milos Raonic for a spot in the quarter-finals of the US Open. Gasquet progressed past Dmitry Tursunov, who retired in the 4th set of their 3rd round clash with a groin injury. Raonic lost the opening set of his 3rd round match with Feliciano Lopez, but responded impressively to win in 4 sets. The Canadian giant cracked the top 10 for the first time in his career after a run to the final in Montreal (although he has now fallen to number 11) and this will be a huge match for him as he bids for his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final. With so much on the line, I think it is Milos who will grab the opportunity with both hands.
Prediction – Raonic to beat Gasquet in 4 tight sets
2. Victoria Azarenka v Ana Ivanovic
The fourth quarter of the womens draw was in danger of being completely wiped out of seeds when both Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic lost the opening set of their third round matches. However both found a way to win to set up a 4th round showdown in New York. Alize Cornet went toe-to-toe with the Belarusian for a set and a half, producing some fine tennis to win the first set on a tiebreak, but Azarenka’s unnerving consistency eventually broke the admirable defences of Cornet to post a 6-7 6-3 6-2 victory.
Ivanovic had an even tougher match with Christina McHale, who even served for the match in the second set; however an emotional Ivanovic found a way through in the end. Azarenka and Ivanovic last met in Carlsbad where Ivanovic won a set before falling in 3. I think Azarenka has had her scare now and I predict this will be an easy win for Vika.
Prediction – Azarenka to beat Ivanovic in 2 sets
Best of the rest: 4th Round WTA Predictions
Roberta Vinci v Camilla Giorgi: Giorgi has had a fabulous tournament with 6 wins under her belt including a victory over former world number 1, Caroline Wozniacki under the lights. Vinci has had some favourable draws at the Grand Slams this year and on the most part, taken full advantage of them. Giorgi is a mean hitter with a surprisingly large following in the tennis world, but I fancy Vinci in 3 sets.
Simona Halep v Flavia Pennetta: Halep absolutely destroyed Maria Kirilenko, who played a truly awful 3rd round match, meanwhile Pennetta beat Kuznetsova yesterday for the first time in 6 attempts. Pennetta did beat Halep in Bastad, but the Romanian was exhausted and retired hurt. I think Halep will take this one in 2 tight sets.
Daniela Hantuchova v Alison Riske: This is sure to be Hantuchova’s last swan song in the Grand Slams and I am happy to see her take that opportunity with an absolute cakewalk of a draw. She saved 4 match points in an epic match with Julia Glushko, meanwhile Riske dismantled an off-colour Petra Kvitova, 6-3 6-0. The pair played an excellent Birmingham semi-final where both were at home on the grass. I think both will be nervous, but Riske will win in 3 sets
Best of the rest: 4th Round ATP Predictions
Janko Tipsarevic v David Ferrer: Ferrer has been consistent as ever with a pretty straightforward draw meanwhile Tipsarevic has managed to string 3 wins togethers, the first time he has done that since the Australian Open where he also made the 4th round. They played a stunning match at the US Open last year and I think Ferrer will prevail once again, this time in 4 tight sets.
Roger Federer v Tommy Robredo: Federer in 3 sets…
Philipp Kohlschreiber v Rafael Nadal: Nadal has been in scintillating form so far and I cannot see Kohlschreiber having the mentality to threaten, let alone get a set off Rafa… Rafa in 3 sets.