WTA Miami, 4th Round Previews: Wozniacki v V.Williams, Radwanska v Suarez Navarro

1. Caroline Wozniacki v Venus Williams (Miami, R4)

Venus WilliamsSeventh time lucky? Caroline Wozniacki is still seeking her first ever victory against Venus Williams and she’ll get another crack on Monday when the pair meet in the fourth round of Miami.  Wozniacki’s first two matches were polar opposites; the first was a crushing 6-0 6-1 win over Madison Brengle and the second was a scrappy and unconvincing victory against Kaia Kanepi, 4-6 6-1 6-3.  The wind had a lot to do with the match against Kanepi as the pair hit a combined 103 unforced errors.  Wozniacki struggled from one particular end and made a right horlicks of trying to serve out the match.  At the end of the day, a win is a wiin…

Williams has won both her matches in straight sets, defeating Urszula Radwanska in the second round, 6-3 6-2 and Sam Stosur in the third round, 6-3 7-6(3).  Venus’s match with Sam was a fun watch and there was some entertaining rallies.  The scoreline hides the struggle Venus faced in the second set as she failed to serve out the match on three occasions.  Stosur really stepped up her intensity but at the same time, Williams’s first serve eluded her and she kept hitting groundstrokes into the net.  It’s been a tough year for Stosur because I don’t think she is playing badly.  She just needs one of these matches to go her way.

Venus has won all six previous encounters against Caroline.  Venus had won all their previous encounters in straight sets until the Auckland final at the start of 2015.  Venus came from a set down to beat Caro, 2-6 6-3 6-3 (see match recap HERE).  The first set of that match was arguably Wozniacki’s best set of the entire year so far.  She was confident and aggressive, but allowed a surging Venus back into the match.  I also enjoyed the speeches in Auckland as you could see the pair held a great respect for each other.  I’d love to see Caro bag a win in this one, but i’m not feeling it.  Her results have been respectable, but I haven’t been impressed with her tennis.  She hasn’t been able to draw on that positive spark that shone throughout the second half of 2014 and she’ll need that in this match to stand a chance.

Prediction: V.Williams d. Wozniacki in 2 sets

2. Agnieszka Radwanska v Carla Suarez Navarro (Miami, R4)

Agnieszka RadwanskaThree months into the season and I never thought i’d be writing this… Carla Suarez Navarro has won twice as many matches as Agnieszka Radwanska in 2015!  The pair will play each other on Monday in what promises to be a compelling match.  Suarez Navarro is having a terrific year and she just keeps on winning.  CSN is up to 18 WTA match wins in 2015 (compared to Radwanska’s 9). There doesn’t seem to be a great deal different in her actual playing style.  The improvements seem to be more focussed in the mental side of her game.  Carla has won 8 out of 11 three set matches this year and has also snapped a few losing streaks.  In her third round match she beat Alize Cornet for the first time since 2010 with a straightforward 6-0 6-4 win.

Radwanska has reached the last 16 in Miami but her results have not been convincing.  She needed three sets to get past Irina-Camelia Begu in Saturday’s late night WTA match.  I haven’t had the chance to watch Radwanska this week, but everything i’ve read about her performances have been negative.  Her partnership with Martina Navratilova hasn’t produced the results yet, but it is still far too early in my opinion for that to be an issue. Radwanska leads the head-to-head with Suarez Navarro, 4-0 and has dropped just one set in those meetings.  I’m eager as a beaver to see the result of this one.  As mentioned above, Suarez Navarro has been snapping losing streaks left, right and centre, and she is capable of winning this match.  Radwanska will have to improve significantly to maintain her 100% record in this match-up.

Prediction: Suarez Navarro d. Radwanska in 3 sets

Both photos in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

17 thoughts on “WTA Miami, 4th Round Previews: Wozniacki v V.Williams, Radwanska v Suarez Navarro

  1. Aga was very very…very luck to win over Begu. She was over powered throughout the second and third sets. Unfortunately Begu gifted her the match. CSN will win this one with her improved backhand and forehand. I won’t be surprised CSN wins in two sets.

    Vee/Woz I think is 50/50 this time.

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  2. Hello James,
    Half of your QF predictions are yet at home already. Muguruza, Safarova, Azarenka and Sharapova. Now it’s time for Petkovic and Radwanska to head back home.
    See, lots of wishful thinking.
    I wonder if Venus could withstand the pressure of younger guns Makarova and Pliskova.
    At least stands the Serena prediction with her protective draw. Although Lisicki might have a different opinion.
    But let’s not trouble an agonising queen, let her RIP. 🙂

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    • Pliskova played Venus at Wimbledon last year. It was her last horrible performance before she put her arse into gear and went on to reach back to back finals. I’d be interested to see them play again now, though!

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  3. Aga definitely gonna loose on her current form,lucky she is playing till this round.
    Venus vs Wozniacki will be a tight match with Venus winning in 3.

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  4. Aga was in pretty poor form at the Rogers Cup last year and got momentum from nowhere when she played and beat Azarenka. I’m probably being wishful, but I hope she can find her good tennis again here to give herself at least a chance at making the final.

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    • She NEEDS it. She’s never been the strongest clay court player so she needs a big injection of points now. Because Carla Suarez Navarro, Karolina Pliskova and Timea Bacsinszky are all fighting for a place in the top ten and at this rate Aga will find herself out of the top 12 seeds coming into Wimbledon.

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      • She really does, with points to defend in Madrid. Hopefully she can put it together at Roland Garros to bag a few points there but she will lose any serious shot at Wimbledon if she’s outside the top eight, which looks likely at this point…

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    • Although her play is a gem, Aga lacks resilience at all. Her play suites a tennis academy where the kids should learn the complete array of shots. But it’s slow and lacks power big time.
      She can pull her through against player who are making a lot of UE like Begu. But against resilient player like CSN she makes the underdog for sure.
      Good that she pulls some tournament wins ocasionally, the Top 20 would look poor without her.

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    • Agree with you, Tom. I remember Canada too! This was an interesting one to make a prediction for but based on all the data this year, it does feel like CSN has a great chance to score what would be a very notable win.

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      • Unfortunately I have to agree, Aga HAS to be at 70% on her first serve to put herself in the match against the form of CSN, and her serving of late hasn’t reflected numbers close to that.

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      • Halep needed a 76% 1st serve and a set in which to wear Carla down to win in 3 in IW. Gotta agree with Tom here, if Aga wants to prevail she needs to pull close to 70%. At 62% she was held in check by Begu. Carla won’t play as nice as Irina, nor will she crumble in the last games if she’s not really tired.

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  5. Radwanska is my favorite player and I watch all her matches. I think Radwanska is essentially a mental player whose game is based primarily on defense. This year, I have seen her having difficulty serving out sets and matches, also she doesnt seem ready for every point, I also feel that many top players have now figured out her awkward game and are more ready for her game. I was impressed how Venus came back to beat her after losing to her 3 times in a row, it seems Venus has figured her out. Radwanska’s performance in both 2nd and 3rd round matches was unimpressive. Her one big mistake is that she raises her level very late in the matches, I do think this year she isnt getting as tetchy as she used to when behind, she is now actually playing better tennis when behind, but she needs to maintain high level throughout the match and not just at the end. She often takes leads and let them slip away, she is able to get away with it with lower ranked players but it wont help her with higher ranked players. Also she needs to stop being too cute every time she comes to the net, sometimes a very regular shot would do the job but she tries to get too cute and pays the price.
    I do think she has the game to win at least one grand slam, it will be a shame if a player of her variety ends up without a slam, but she needs to be mentally there. I think Carla will take this one, Carla is playing very well this year and she is playing patiently and is mentally much better.
    I also think Caro will beat Venus.

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    • I’m the same, haven’t missed any of her broadcasted matches since the start of 2013 I believe. 🙂
      I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, especially the comment on her being cute. Sometimes it feels like she’s trying to overplay for the highlights reel based on her reputation with lots of poor dropshots and overplayed volleys recently. Her serve also seems to be becoming more about power than the placement which was working well for a while, having lots of faults these last few weeks. Her forehand has also looked less impressive; it’s been sitting up a lot.
      I feel like she has one or maybe two Wimbledons left to give herself a chance, but I’m very concerned about her slam situation.

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  6. Watching Aga and Carla in the third set, Radwanska is looking very uncomfortable while Carla is looking effortless and very calm, Carla is hitting the ball very very well.

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