US Open Day 9 Predictions: Wawrinka-Berdych, Serena-Suarez Navarro and Makarova-Li

I really thought there was an error with the US Open app when I saw a tick next to Tommy Robredo‘s name this morning.  I know Federer has been struggling all year, but to lose in straight sets to Robredo, a player he has a 10-0 head-to-head record against was a real upset.  Richard Gasquet making the quarters of just his second Grand Slam was also a shock, but a pleasant one.  

Apart from my champions, most of my original predictions have gone down the drain.  Who would have thought that Flavia Pennetta and Daniela Hantuchova, two players who seemed to be past their best, would make the quarters of the US Open? Not me.  A final word for the scheduling… without doubt the US Open is the worst of the Grand Slams.  Delaying Azarenka-Ivanovic, but playing all the mens 4th round (which is running behind the womens draw) was a quite farcical decision that makes absolutely no sense.

1. Stanislas Wawrinka v Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych

The match of the day on the mens side will see Stanislas Wawrinka take on Tomas Berdych for a spot in the US Open quarter-finals.  Apart from a ropey second round match with Denis Kudla, which he still managed to win in straight sets, Berdych has sailed into the 4th round. On Sunday he thumped Julien Benneteau for the loss of just five games.  Wawrinka has played well too with two straight setters and a four set win over Marcos Baghdatis, which threatened to turn into a really dicey day for Stanley, but he got the job done in the end.  Wawrinka has had some success against the Berd in the past with a 6-5 lead in their head-to-head including a third set comeback win in Madrid.  However Berdych has won all of their best of five set matches.  I like Wawrinka’s record in this match-up, but still fancy Berdych’s form to take him into the quarter-finals.

Prediction – Berdych to beat Wawrinka in 4 sets

2. Serena Williams v Carla Suarez Navarro
It was the most heavily anticipated match of the tournament so far and Serena Williams delivered a top notch performance as she defeated Sloane Stephens, 6-4 6-1 in the third match on Ashe Stadium.  The first set was a real high quality affair and I was very impressed with Sloane, who played a pretty solid match under the circumstances.  Her serve placement was brilliant and in particular one forehand showed just how much power she actually possesses.  Serena was too good though and goes on to play a first time US Open quarter-finalist, Carla Suarez Navarro.  The Spaniard was DELIGHTED as she claimed a big, big win over Angelique Kerber showing the better nerve to prevail an entertaining 4th round encounter, 4-6 6-3 7-6(3).   Unfortunately I do not hold much hope for CSN in this one…

Prediction – Serena to beat Suarez Navarro in 2 sets

3. Ekaterina Makarova v Li Na
Ekaterina Makarova

Ekaterina Makarova caused the biggest upset of the tournament in terms of seeding on Sunday when she recovered from a 0-4 deficit in the first set to knock out Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4 6-4.  Seeded number 3, Radwanska was aiming to be the only player to have reached the quarter-finals of all the Grand Slams in 2013, but once again, came up short in Flushing Meadows where the 4th round remains her best result.  Makarova now takes on Li Na, who produced another superbly efficient performance to waltz past Jelena Jankovic, 6-3 6-0.  Makarova heads into this match with an identical head-to-head to her last match with Radwanska, having never beaten Li in 3 previous encounters.  Makarova’s playing well, but Li is at another level in my opinion and her form has been excellent so far this week.  It has to be Li…

Prediction – Li to beat Makarova in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: Mens 4th Round Predictions
Novak Djokovic to beat Marcel Granollers in 3 sets
Lleyton Hewitt to beat Mikhail Youzhny in 4 sets
Andy Murray to beat Denis Istomin in 3 sets

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