Stuttgart continues to offer up some brilliant WTA matches. The first match on Thursday’s night schedule saw Carla Suarez Navarro produce her best win of 2014, defeating Angelique Kerber in straight sets. Competing in the Fed Cup in Australia last weekend has unsurprisingly, taken its toll on some of the home players this week. The last match of the day saw a terrific performance by Svetlana Kuznetsova as she ousted Simona Halep in two absorbing sets of tennis, 7-5 7-6.
1. Agnieszka Radwanska v Maria Sharapova (WTA Stuttgart, QF)
Thursday’s match of the day from the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix will pit the number one seed, Agnieszka Radwanska against the number six seed, Maria Sharapova. The defending champion, Sharapova needs to make the semi-finals this week to retain her position in the top ten. After spending well over three hours on court in her first round win over Lucie Safarova, Sharapova exacted revenge on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round with a straight sets win in one hour and 32 minute, 6-4 6-3. In the first match on Thursday, Radwanska won her first match of the week in straight sets against Roberta Vinci, 6-3 6-2.
Sharapova leads the head-to-head with Radwanska by 8 wins to 2; Sharapova won their last match at the 2012 YEC in Istanbul, an epic three setter that finished 5-7 7-5 7-5. Before that, Radwanska beat Sharapova in the final of Miami. This should be a really interesting contest as the pair have always had pretty close matches. Sharapova’s not been in great form this year, but I still like her chances against Aga, who has never been at her most comfortable on a clay court.
Prediction: Sharapova d. Radwanska in 2 sets
WTA Stuttgart Quarter-Final Predictions
Sara Errani d. Carla Suarez Navarro in 3 sets
Jelena Jankovic d. Alisa Kleybanova in 2 tight sets
Ana Ivanovic d. Svetlana Kuznetsova in 3 sets
ATP Barcelona Quarter-Final Predictions
Rafael Nadal d. Nicolas Almagro in 2 sets
Philipp Kohlschreiber d. Santiago Giraldo in 3 sets
Kei Nishikori d. Marin Cilic in 3 sets
Ernests Gulbis d. Teymuraz Gabashvili in 2 tight sets