I had probably my best prediction of the year today as Florian Mayer beat David Ferrer in straight sets as I successfully called last night. Hopefully the success can continue with all four of my predicted Shanghai semi-finalists still in the tournament. I just watched Sloane Stephens come through an entertaining affair with Andrea Petkovic. I thought Petko would come through that one, but Sloane rolled through the last few games after a tough game at 3-2 in the decider. It was very up and down from both, but there were lots of exciting rallies.
1. Novak Djokovic v Gael Monfils (Shanghai, QF)
The uncertainty surrounding Roger Federer grew on Thursday as he suffered another early exit, this time to the flamboyant Gael Monfils in three sets. Monfils now progresses to a quarter-final with Novak Djokovic, who was never troubled in his third round match with Fabio Fognini, which he won 6-3 6-3 in 70 minutes. Any match featuring Monfils promises to be entertaining and with this week’s performances, he should break back into the top 40 of the world rankings. Djokovic leads the head-to-head by 8 wins to 0; their last match was in Cincy where Monfils won the first set. Djokovic seems to have recovered his form after a shaky summer by his exceptional standards and I expect him to win his 8th consecutive match.
Prediction – Djokovic to beat Monfils in 2 sets
2. Ana Ivanovic v Dominika Cibulkova (Linz, QF)
Eight players remain in Linz and just one of them has won a title this year. Dominika Cibulkova, who won Stanford in style earlier this summer will take on Ana Ivanovic in the pick of the quarter-finals. Ivanovic has notched up solid wins over Yanina Wickmayer and Francesca Schiavone, and will face her toughest challenge against Cibulkova, who strolled past the qualifier Katarzyna Piter for the loss of just 1 game in 52 minutes. Ivanovic and Cibulkova last met in Carlsbad where Cibulkova was coming off the back of her title win in Stanford and after a strong start, faded to a three set defeat. Cibulkova’s form this year has been so irratic and she has disappeared for large chunks of the season. Ivanovic has been more consistent and I think this is her best shot of claiming a title in 2013.
Prediction – Ivanovic to beat Cibulkova in 2 tight sets
3. Kirsten Flipkens v Carla Suarez Navarro (Linz, QF)
It didn’t look likely at the start of the week, but Kirsten Flipkens and Carla Suarez Navarro have consolidated their seeding to set up what should be a refreshing quarter-final with plenty of style. Flipkens enjoyed arguably her best win since Wimbledon as she steamrollered past the always dangerous Camila Giorgi, 6-2 6-1. Suarez Navarro was also in impressive form as she beat Elina Svitolina, 6-1 6-4. Flipkens was terrific in the first half of the year culminating in a semi-final appearance at Wimbledon, but since then she seems to have burnt out. Suarez Navarro has also had a breakout year, but has still yet to win a WTA title and has suffered some crushing losses in the last couple of months. The pair have split their previous two matches, which took place in 2007 and 2008 so you cannot really take much notice of them. This is not an easy match to call, but I think CSN is the stronger player right now…
Prediction – Suarez Navarro to beat Flipkens in 3 sets
Best of the rest: ATP Shanghai Quarter-Final Predictions
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to beat Florian Mayer in 2 tight sets
Juan Martin del Potro to beat Nicolas Almagro in 3 sets
Rafael Nadal to beat Stanislas Wawrinka in 2 sets
Best of the rest: WTA Linz Quarter-Final Predictions
Sloane Stephens to beat Stephanie Voegele in 2 tight sets
Angelique Kerber to beat Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in 2 sets
Best of the rest: WTA Osaka Quarter-Final Predictions
Madison Keys to beat Zheng Jie in 3 sets
Sam Stosur to beat Misaki Doi in 2 tight sets
Eugenie Bouchard to beat Barbara Zahlavova Strycova in 2 sets
Polona Hercog to beat Kurumi Nara in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)