In the TFF DreamTeam game, Wild Briar Village continues to lead the way. Woo is in 2nd place and #teamwoz is in 3rd place. I’m down in 7th place and have a depleted women’s team. Sunday’s schedule will be lit up with the showpiece match-up between Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova, which will be during the day (woohoo, i’ll be able to watch it!). I’d really love to hear your thoughts about this match so if you have an opinion, please leave a comment below 🙂
1. Maria Sharapova v Caroline Wozniacki (WTA US Open, R4)
The most anticipated women’s match of the US Open so far will pit Maria Sharapova against Caroline Wozniacki. This is a match of pretty hefty proportions as the victor will become the heavy favourite to make the final from the bottom half. Of course, favourites means nothing in tennis, but there will be huge opportunities. Sharapova dropped a set to Alexandra Dulgheru in the second round, but got the job done in straight sets in the third round against Sabine Lisicki. She won, 6-2 6-4 in one hour and 41 minutes. Wozniacki lost a set in her first round match to Magdalena Rybarikova, but has since, cruised through. She looked in sparkling form against Andrea Petkovic, winning 6-3 6-2. I watched the start of the second set, which was featured some high quality tennis. Petko is such a great competitor and she did about as much as she could have done with this draw.
Sharapova has won five of their last seven matches. Wozniacki’s wins came in 2010 (6-3 6-4 at the US Open) and in 2011 (6-1 6-2 at Indian Wells). Historically, Wozniacki has always struggled to beat the big hitting players when they hit a hot streak. However, Wozniacki has been playing some really positive tennis in the last few months and with a thoroughly improved serve, is playing arguably her best tennis since topping the world rankings. Sharapova hasn’t played well since the French Open. She’s been gritting her way through a lot of matches.
It’s rare for me to change my mind about a match-up but SCREW IT, i’m going for Caroline. She can rival Maria in the competitor stakes and I just love the way she is playing right now. She seems to have a better understanding of what she needs to do to be able to beat these types of players (although there’s no guarantee she will be able to do it!) On a personal note, I’d absolutely love Caroline to win this. Come on Caro!!!!!!!!!!!
Prediction: Wozniacki d. Sharapova in 3 sets (what am I doing?!?!?!)
2. Sara Errani v Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (WTA US Open, R4)
If you haven’t watched Mirjana Lucic-Baroni’s press conference after her win over Simona Halep then I urge you to go and watch it (see link below).
You can see how much this meant to her. Lucic-Baroni produced a fabulous upset, knocking out Halep in straight sets. Halep had led 5-2 in the first set and also had set points. It was disappointing for Halep, but personally, I didn’t have a positive feeling about her for this tournament. Before the tournament, her draw looked very tough although it never turned out to be as bad as it looked. Lucic-Baroni demonstrated though, that draws can be meaningless as she summoned her very best tennis to book a place in the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time since 1999 at Wimbledon (!!!)
A potential Halep v Williams 4th round match has become Lucic-Baroni v Errani. Huge credit must go to Sara Errani for her best performance of the year, raising her game in the third set tiebreak to notch a first ever win over a Williams sister. She defeated Venus in a wonderfully weird WTA scoreline, 6-0 0-6 7-6(5). Errani made the semi-finals back in 2012 and is having a good run after struggling through much of the summer hard court season. This is the first time she has won three consecutive matches on hard courts since making the final of Paris indoors at the beginning of the year.
Errani won their only previous match in 2010 on clay in Palermo. Lucic-Baroni will be a dangerous opponent because she has nothing to lose and looks happy just to be competing and challenging at this level. I’d definitely give Sara the edge, who really impressed me against Venus. It’s not Venus-Halep, but i’m hoping it will be a reasonably interesting match if Lucic-Baroni can maintain a solid-ish level.
Prediction: Errani d. Lucic-Baroni in 2 tight sets