Five fourth round matches were completed in the womens draw on Monday with some big upsets; Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki were both knocked out in straight sets. The first two womens quarter-finals from the bottom half of the draw will play on Tuesday with the second two from the top half on Wednesday. Petra Kvitova will be the huge favourite to come through to make the final. If she doesn’t, wow… just wow! Here’s the preview for the first two…
TFF DreamTeam Update: Woo continues to lead the Moo’s Tennis Blog league with Ray in 2nd place and julygrass in 3rd place.
Fantasy Wimbledon Update: JaredPine is way in front at the top of the Moo’s Tennis Blog league with FJ in 2nd place and Cosima_N in 3rd place. I’ve slipped a little to 6th… keep doing those transfers! Tomorrow after 11am, the transfers will be reset to five for the last time this tournament.
1. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova v Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova may be the huge favourite to make the final from the bottom half, but her quarter-final match with Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (BZS) should not be completely overlooked. BZS has had a tremendous couple of weeks, reaching the final of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and upsetting two big players at Wimby in Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki. On Monday, she saw off the Dane, who endured another disappointing result at a Grand Slam, 6-2 7-5. The BZS game suits the grass marvellously and her ability to get up to the net and dominate is crucial.
Kvitova passed her major challenge in the third round when she came from a set down and several nervy moments to beat Venus Williams in what remains as the best womens match of the tournament. She has had a pretty drama-free tournament with three straight sets wins either side of the Venus match. On Monday, she continued her dominance over Peng Shuai, coming through, 6-3 6-2. I’ll say it loud and proud… if Petra is fully fit and healthy, she’s my tip for the title now with Serena gone. BZS will be a tough opponent, a different opponent, that will offer up little rhythm. Kvitova leads the H2H 3-1, but BZS has a win over Petra in Indian Wells from 2011. I think Petra is zoned in now and she will come through a stern test against another in-form Czech player in Zahlavova Strycova.
Prediction: Kvitova d. Zahlavova Strycova in 2 tight sets
2. Ekaterina Makarova v Lucie Safarova
I was on the roof watching Lucie Safarova‘s fourth round match with Tereza Smitkova today. Regulars to Moo’s Tennis Blog will know I am huge fan and I was grinning profusely at the end as Safarova reached her second Grand Slam quarter-final and a first at Wimbledon. In terms of fourth round opponents and with the greatest of respect to Smitkova, this was a hugely winnable match for Lucie. Safarova played an absolutely flawless match, serving big, hitting big and keeping her error count low. Smitkova offered up little resistance. Safarova double faulted on her first match point, but won the second one after an extended rally. Her celebration was so sweet and I have some great pictures for the blog coming later this week!
In an unlikely Wimbledon quarter-final, Safarova will play Ekaterina Makarova! The Russian player beat Agnieszka Radwanska in a puzzling scoreline, 6-3 6-0. It was her second straight win over Aga for Makarova having beaten her at the US Open last year. I didn’t watch the match, but I gather it was a mixture of Makarova playing great and Aga not. Safarova and Makarova are tied at 1-1 in the H2H. Safarova won their first match in Moscow in 2009, 6-2 6-2 and Makarova won their most recent one in Madrid last year, 6-2 7-5. I think this could be a really nervy affair with both breaking new ground at Wimbledon. I hope they put on a good match for the No.1 Court. It’s one that could go either way with both putting in fabulous performances on Monday. I’m going Lucie…
Prediction: Safarova d. Makarova in 3 sets