I’m still getting over that fabulous win for Angelique Kerber last night over Maria Sharapova! In case you missed it, I recapped the match here. I ran out of time to write detailed previews about the Stuttgart quarter-finals last night, but here are a few quick thoughts about each match.
1. Angelique Kerber v Ekaterina Makarova
Kerber produced a sensational performance to oust Sharapova on Thursday with perhaps, her best ever set of tennis to win the final set, 6-1. Makarova has been solid this week and played well in the first round against Mattek-Sands although she was close to a meltdown at the end. Kerber leads the head-to-head, 6-4 and won all three of their encounters in 2014, the last two in straight sets. I’m intrigued to see how Kerber responds to yesterday’s match and whether there is any kind of let down. When she beat Sharapova at Wimbledon, she lost the next day to Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets. Yesterday’s match wasn’t as taxing as their Wimbledon one (but still equally amazing) and it’s a reasonable match-up for her… I’d give Angie the benefit of the doubt.
Prediction: Kerber d. Makarova in 2 tight sets
2. Madison Brengle v Caroline Garcia
This is the result of a quarter-final match that was seeded to produce Petra Kvitova and Ana Ivanovic. I’ve done a terrible job at picking out the upsets this week and to be honest, both were not massive upsets. Brengle didn’t face a break point against Kvitova until serving for the match when she wasted four match points. It was impressive that she managed to regroup and win the second set tiebreak. Garcia continues to have some shaky moments as she failed to serve out the first set of her second round match against Carina Witthoeft; however, like Brengle, she regrouped and won in straight sets. I’d fancy Garcia but i’m always wary as she does have the capability of careering off the tracks.
Predicton: Garcia d. Brengle in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)
3. Caroline Wozniacki v Carla Suarez Navarro
Wozniacki enjoyed a rare win on the clay yesterday, beating Safarova in straight sets. I was really gutted about the loss for Lucie because I did honestly believe she would win that match. The second set went by very quickly on the scoreboard! Suarez Navarro continues to rack up wins as she has made yet another quarter-final, beating Belinda Bencic in the second round. This is probably the most interesting match of the four and having not watched either of their second round matches, I feel i’m not in a great place to make a judgement! My head says Carla though…
Prediction: Suarez Navarro d. Wozniacki in 3 sets
4. Simona Halep v Sara Errani
In just a third career match-up, Errani and Halep will play on clay for the first time. Halep played an extremely smart match against Garbine Muguruza and really showed her confidence right now in coming back from a break down in the final set. Errani has had a good week and it sounded like her first round match against Agnieszka Radwanska was a real treat… that’s on my list to rewatch at the weekend. Halep looks so assured on court right now… Would I be stupid enough to go against Simona again? Errrr no!
Prediction: Halep d. Errani in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)