Second round action in Brisbane concluded on Wednesday with Ana Ivanovic’s 6-4 6-1 victory over Jarmila Gajdosova. There were some impressive wins for the likes of Madison Keys, Karolina Pliskova and Ajla Tomljanovic early on, but it’s been disappointing to see none of them back it up in the second round. The top three seeds are all still in the draw, which hopefully paves the way for an exciting conclusion. There has been some brilliant coverage from Brisbane this week. As always, Jimmie48 has produced some great shots for Women’s Tennis Blog. Also, well worth a read is The Mini-Break blog by Matt Johnson for some insightful accounts from Brisbane and great photos too.
1. Angelique Kerber v Elina Svitolina (WTA Brisbane, QF)
The slate of second round matches in Brisbane was a tad disappointing. The quarter-finals line-up is more inviting with the first match on the schedule for the Pat Rafter Arena the pick of the bunch on Thursday. Angelique Kerber and Elina Svitolina have both made excellent starts to the year with two straight set wins under their belt. Kerber defeated Caroline Garcia in the first round (6-4 6-3) and Daria Gavrilova in the second round (6-3 7-5). Although Kerber’s serving stats were not as impressive in her second round match compared to her match against Garcia, she did well to close out the second set against a confident and in-form opponent. Svitolina beat Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round (6-0 6-2) and Ajla Tomljanovic (6-3 6-2) in the second round. It is hard to ignore the improvements that Svitolina has made to her game and consistency-wise, she’s becoming a very reliable player on the tour.
Kerber and Svitolina played against each other in back-to-back tournaments towards the end of the 2014 season. Kerber won in Tokyo, 6-4 6-4, but Svitolina gained revenge in Wuhan with a 6-4 7-6(3) victory. This should be a very competitive match. The pair have never gone the distance in their three previous encounters. Although I think it will be close, i’d fancy this to finish in two tight sets again. I’m going for Angie…
Prediction: Kerber d. Svitolina in 2 tight sets
WTA Brisbane Quarter-Final Predictions
Maria Sharapova d. Carla Suarez Navarro in 2 sets
Varvara Lepchenko d. Alla Kudryavtseva in 2 tight sets
Ana Ivanovic d. Kaia Kanepi in 2 tight sets