WTA Wimbledon, Quarter-Finals Preview Part 2: Halep v Lisicki, Bouchard v Kerber

In scenes reminiscent of 2013, the womens draw has been ripped open with Serena Williams, Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska, Victoria Azarenka and now Maria Sharapova all out of the tournament.  Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova will contest the first of the women’s semi-finals on Thursday, but the second one is still undecided.  Both womens quarter-finals from the top half look fascinating on paper. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these two quarter-finals so please vote in the polls and leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Poll Results: 23% correctly went for Kerber to beat Sharapova and 86% correctly predicted that Lisicki would beat Shvedova.

Fantasy Tennis Update: Jared Pine is still miles ahead, followed by Cosima_N and Ma01dp, which happens to be my Brother… not impressed.  I’m in 5th place so still time to catch up!

TFF DreamTeam Update: The top three is the same as woo leads the way with Ray in 2nd place and julygrass in 3rd place.

1. Simona Halep v Sabine Lisicki

Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki booked her place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the fifth consecutive time.  Lisicki missed the tournament in 2010 through injury, but excluding that result, her record at Wimby has been nothing short of remarkable.  On tour, there is no stronger and deeper love affair between one player and a tournament.  To further cement this thought, Lisicki has never made it past the fourth round at  any of the other three Grand Slams.  Sabine was not entirely convincing in her fourth round match, but I always felt she had the edge over an equally shaky, Yaroslava Shvedova.  Lisicki was struggling with a shoulder injury, which likely contributed to a whopping 20 double faults.  She took a MTO during a game, which caused a little furore on social media.  I wasn’t watching the match at the time.  In the end, her determination pulled her through and she won, 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Lisicki will play first time Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Simona Halep.  After a rough performance in the second round against Lesia Tsurenko where she lost her only set of the Championships, Halep has found some of her best form.  She has taken out two talented WTA prospects, Belinda Bencic in the third round (6-4 6-1) and Zarina Diyas in the fourth round (6-3 6-0 ).  Before the 2014 season had started, Halep had never made it past the fourth round at a Grand Slam.  This year she has achieved that feat on three occasions.  She has had a very favourable draw at Wimby, but she’s snapped up her opportunity, which is all she can do.

Halep and Lisicki played earlier this year in Madrid; it was actually one of Lisicki’s best performances of the year as she took the opening set, but lost 5-7 6-3 6-2.  Lisicki showed her vulnerability against Shvedova and I don’t think she will be able to do that again against Halep if she wants to progress.  Considering her form coming into Wimbledon, Sabine has had another remarkable Wimbledon.  Only on one occasion (in Madrid) had she won two matches at the same tournament and she’s won four here! In my opinion, Halep will end Sabine’s dream for another year.

Prediction: Halep d. Lisicki in 2 tight sets

1. Eugenie Bouchard v Angelique Kerber

Bouchard

In the best match of the tournament so far, Angelique Kerber summoned some stunning tennis to oust Maria Sharapova, 7-6(4) 4-6 6-4 in two hours and 37 minutes.  You can read my full recap of the match HERE.  To sum it up in one sentence, Kerber was frigging awesome.  It was a brutal match for Kerber, both physically and mentally, which will give an immediate edge to her quarter-final opponent, Eugenie Bouchard, who had a day off after completing her fourth round match against Alize Cornet on Monday.  Genie was certainly not at her best against Cornet, but showed the greater nerve and poise to edge a very tight two setter, 7-6(5) 7-5.

Bouchard and Kerber played earlier this month in the fourth round of the French Open.  Bouchard absolutely dismantled Kerber, 6-1 6-2, who seemed to be at her lowest ebb.  I wrote a recap about that French Open match HERE.  It’s astonishing how things can change in such a short space of time in tennis.  Kerber is in a much better place now and is also more comfortable on the grass compared to the clay courts of Roland Garros.  Bouchard has become a winning machine, particularly when she is not playing at her best.  I wasn’t impressed with her tennis on Monday, but the way she won certainly was.

This match will come down to how Kerber responds after a career best victory over Sharapova.  That performance against Maria was just majestic.  I say Kerber keeps rolling.

Prediction: Kerber d. Bouchard in 3 sets

16 thoughts on “WTA Wimbledon, Quarter-Finals Preview Part 2: Halep v Lisicki, Bouchard v Kerber

  1. With Sharapova now out … she is no longer a poss victim of Sabine & the French Open curse, I fear that you are correct with Halep! 😦 However, I just cannot count Sabine out, if her game clicks like it did against serena and agi last year then I think she’s in with a chance. She shouldn’t have too many nerves going into known territory, Halep however, new ground, legend of lisicki. WHO KNOWS. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Sabine blowing her off court. First set is going to be crucial.

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    • I agree, the first set is crucial. If Halep sits back, Lisicki has the potential to blow her off the court and anything is possible at Wimby! Just with the shoulder injury, her lack of matches, her inconsistency, I feel tomorrow will just be one step too far.

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  2. I don’t quite understand what you have against Bouchard. You never seem to pick her to win a match and she always does… With the title so up for grabs, there’s no way she’s losing this tomorrow.

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    • I don’t quite understand your comment. This is the first time i’ve gone against Bouchard all tournament and i’ve always thought very highly of her as I had her to reach the QFs in my predictions at both the Aus Open and French Open. On this occasion, I felt Kerber has a very slight edge.

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  3. The well rested Eugenie Bouchard will win tomorrow over Kerber and make it to her 3rd grand slam SF.
    Bouchard will be aggressive and dictate play, she will attack Kerber’s 2nd serve and win the match.

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  4. I just don’t see Halep losing to Lisicki. She’s looking increasingly impressive on the grass, whereas Lisicki has looked very average at times (vs Pliskova & vs Shvedova) and very beatable. It could be close, or Simona could just cruise through comfortably.

    Kerber was fabulous against Sharapova (what amazing defence and determination!) and I’d love for her to take out Bouchard, who I feel is still quite over-rated. However, Kerber will be knackered after today so I really don’t know about her chances of doing that.

    Either way, it looks very likely to be a Halep – Kvitova final.

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    • I admit Kerber could be tired, both mentally and physically, but the WTA players are used to playing best of three set matches day in day out at the Premier events. I’d agree, I would say a Halep v Kvitova final right now, but anything is possible and there are many people who think this is Genie’s first Grand Slam title. Exciting times!

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  5. Hi James!!! Am a Malaysian tennis fan. Always checking ur blog and stevegtennis for the previews and stuff. I want an all German and all Czech semifinal here at Wimby.

    If Sabine stays calm and finds a way to dominate the match just like the previous matches, there is no doubt she will win. Hopefully she can the form that helped her took the first set from Simona at Madrid. She has to serve well and EXTREMELY WELL today!!! Minimise the double faults!!! And must not give Simona any chance to control the points. Hopefully most the crowd will be supporting their Wimbledon girl =)

    As for Angelique, I knew she would pose some trouble for Sharapova. I just love the way she strikes the ball, deep down into the court and she defends remarkably well!!!! She to do this against Genie in order to win and not repeat the form at Roland Garros where she lost easily. Was sad the way she lost by that scoreline. Kerber will be on fire today and Bouchard will have to work extra hard to take the match and march into the semis.

    P.S For the third Grand Slam, Genie’s draw opened wide again, she better focus and play her best tennis or else Kerber will send her running and rallying.

    Semifinal prediction : Lisicki vs Kerber

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    • Thanks for your comment! There seems to be so much love for Sabine. Today is going to be a really tough match for her. Lisicki v Kerber would be an awesome semi-final. Their match at Wimby a few years back was brilliant!

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  6. If Petra can play anywhere near her Wimbledon winning form this is hers for the taking, none of the others have ever played even close to that level, but it doesn’t happen very often.

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  7. James, don’t get me wrong I love your blog and have been a constant follower for the past 2 years. Keep up the good work!

    I will go through the archives from earlier this year where you had called Bouchard over-rated on multiple occasions :p I suppose her performance just now is proving everyone wrong? (I hope I’m not jinxing it!)

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    • Perhaps have a look my WTA predictions for 2014 where I predicted Bouchard would finish 8th in the year ending rankings. I was laughed at for that prediction. I went Kerber in 3 sets but I really struggled calling it this match. I was so impressed with Kerber vs. Sharapova, but I overlooked the whole tiredness aspect and what a great closer Genie is. Bouchard hasn’t proved everyone wrong? I think everyone knows she is the real deal, including me!

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  8. Simona did a demolition job on Lisicki as I (kind of) predicted could happen (above). So cool and composed, even when she’s under fire. Nothing seems to faze her.

    The sooner this girl is #1 with at least a couple of Slams, the better. She’s got great game, she’s mentally tough as nails, and she’s a real sweetheart to boot – no airs and graces, just humble, modest and real. The WTA couldn’t wish for a better ambassador for the game.

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