WTA Bastad, Istanbul Quarter-Finals Preview: Kanepi v Barthel, Wozniacki v Pliskova

Alexander Zverev reached his first ATP main draw quarter-fnal with another fabulous win, this time defeating Santiago Giraldo, 6-4 7-6(6).  According to the ATP website, Zverev is the first 17 year old to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since Rafael Nadal advanced to this stage of the tournament in Dubai in 2004.  You can see an interview with Zverev HERE.  He takes on Tobias Kamke in the quarter-final, which is a huge opportunity in an ATP 500 event for both players.  I’m now switching attention to the WTA tournaments for this quarter-final preview…

Mona Barthel v Kaia Kanepi (WTA Bastad, QF)

Barthel

Kaia Kanepi and Mona Barthel will meet in the most intriguing of the quarter-finals in Bastad where all eight seeds have been knocked out.  Barthel and Kanepi are arguably, the two best players left in the draw.  Both have huge games, but both have had their issues this year.  Kanepi has struggled with injuries;  a persistent heel injury has prevented her from finding her best form this year.  At Wimbledon, she played a great match to beat allergic-to-grass, Jelena Jankovic.  Kanepi then entered two ITF events on clay, making the final in Contrexeville and winning Biarritz.  This seems to have given the Estonian player a boost in confidence as she was able to fight back against Johanna Larsson in the first round of this tournament in Bastad.  The home favourite served for the match in the third set, but Kanepi fought back to win, 6-2 4-6 7-5.  In the second round, Kanepi had no problems up against Richel Hogenkamp, who she beat in straight sets, 6-3 6-1.

Barthel has had an equally frustrating year; her talent is undeniable, but she has struggled mentally to piece things together.  I’ll never give up hope that she will fully fulfill what she is truly capable of.  Since Stuttgart, where she lost out to Jelena Jankovic in a heartbreaker, Mona’s form has improved.  She has a won at least one match at nine of her last ten tournaments; however she hasn’t made it past a quarter-final.  She will get that opportunity on Friday against Kanepi.  To be honest, I would fancy the winner of this match to go all the way.  The pair have never played each other before on the WTA tour.  I cannot imagine it will be a high quality match, but it will be fascinating to see which player can hold their nerve.

Prediction: Kanepi d. Barthel in 3 sets

2. Caroline Wozniacki v Karolina Pliskova (WTA Istanbul, QF)

Pliskova

Caroline Wozniacki laboured to a three set victory over Karin Knapp in the second round of the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup.  Wozniacki looked to be under the weather as she had the doctor on court at the end of the first set.  Wozniacki turned it around to win, 4-6 6-2 6-1.  This came after a thumping double bagel victory over Belinda Bencic.  You can read my recap of that first round match HERE.  Wozniacki will have had a day’s rest ready for her quarter-final match with Karolina Pliskova.  Ranked at number 47 in the world, Pliskova has had a reasonably solid year.  She has reached two finals this year in Pattaya City and Nurnberg, coming up short in both.  Wozniacki and Pliskova have played each other on two occasions with Caro winning both matches in three sets.  Pliskova has the groundstrokes to threaten Wozniacki, but whether she has the focus and concentration to eek out the win is another question…

Prediction: Wozniacki d. Pliskova in 3 sets

ATP Hamburg Quarter-Final Predictions

David Ferrer d. Pablo Andujar in 2 tight sets

Alexander Zverev d. Tobias Kamke in 3 sets

Philipp Kohlschreiber d. Lukas Rosol in 3 sets

Dusan Lajovic d. Leonardo Mayer in 2 tight sets

WTA Bastad Quarter-Final Predictions

Jana Cepelova d. Yulia Putintseva in 2 tight sets

Lara Arruabarrena d. Chanelle Scheepers in 3 sets

Silvia Soler-Espinosa d. Alexandra Panova in 2 tight sets

WTA Istanbul Quarter-Final Predictions

Francesca Schiavone d. Kristina Mladenovic in 2 tight sets

Elina Svitolina d. Ana Konjuh in 3 sets

Kurumi Nara d. Roberta Vinci in 3 sets

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