Women’s Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview for Tuesday: Agnieszka Radwanska v Carla Suárez Navarro

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The first of the women’s quarter-finals on Tuesday will be contested between Agnieszka Radwanska and Carla Suárez Navarro. Both players advanced to the quarter-finals by coming from a set down in their fourth round matches. Radwanska was staring down another fourth round exit at the Australian Open, down 2-5 in the third set against an at-times inspired, Anna-Lena Friedsam. The pair had played out one of the more entertaining sets of women’s tennis so far this year in the opening set; Radwanska had served for the set and even had a set point having initially recovered a 1-4 deficit. Friedsam though would not be denied as she mantained an aggressive stance and deservedly took the set on the tiebreak.

Radwanska hit back in the second set and looked well on her way into the quarters when she got the early break in the decider, While visibly tired, adrenaline seemed to kick in for a peak-Friedsam who reeled off five straight games. After failing to serve out the match, she then took a medical time-out just before Radwanska came out to serve for the set. The Polish player came within two points of defeat but once securing that vital hold, it was clear that Friedsam was in trouble. She began to cramp badly and unfortunately that was that… Radwanska, while somewhat fortuitous, battled back to secure the win.

Suárez Navarro’s match was equally turbulent as she recovered from a bagel opening set to beat a frustrated, Daria Gavrilova, 0-6 6-3 6-2. The Aussie looked a little spent in the deciding set, both physically and mentally, unable to stay in the points against a rock-solid, Suárez Navarro. She was so impatient in the rallies and the Spaniard’s superior composure shone through. While it was a bad day at the office for Gavrilova, she can be exceptionally proud of her efforts this week.

Head-to-head record: Radwanska leads Suárez Navarro, 2-1 in their head-to-head. While Aga won their first two, Carla won their most recent encounter last year in Miami, coming from a set down to win, 5-7 6-0 6-4.

Interesting stat: Suárez Navarro first reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open all the way back in 2009 in her first main draw appearance. Since then, the Spaniard hadn’t made it past the third round. Suárez Navarro will be seeking to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.

Analysis: I have question marks over both players; I don’t think Radwanska has played anywhere close to her best tennis this tournament but to her credit, she has battled through and reached the last eight. I wonder how much a leg injury, which was heavily taped against Friedsam, is bothering her. Suárez Navarro’s level has been respectable but Gavrilova was the first top 100 player she had come up against in this tournament. The third set against Gavrilova was impressive in terms of how she maintained a cool head, but she wasn’t pushed by her opponent. Furthermore, she also took a medical time-out for a knee injury. This match is bound to have plenty of longgg rallies and I think it should be entertaining. As mentioned above, i’m not convinced by Aga so far this week, but I wonder if Suárez Navarro has it within her, in these circumstances, to fully capitalise…

Prediction: Radwanska d. Suárez Navarro in 3 sets

Photo in this post by mootennis.com

21 thoughts on “Women’s Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview for Tuesday: Agnieszka Radwanska v Carla Suárez Navarro

  1. Aga dodged a bullet in her last match,Daria went AWOL in her match against Carla,not impressed with either player quite frankly,Aga in 3 sets.

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  2. I’m looking forward to this one as I agree with James that it should be very entertaining.

    I’m inclining slightly towards Aga winning though as her form since the US Open has been better than Carla’s, but if she has an offday I think Carla could win it – she beat Aga in Miami last year.

    BTW, I think Carla’s shot against Timea Baczinsky in Beijing last year, where the ball bounced back over the net into Carla’s side of the court after it had landed in Timea’s, deserved to be the shot of the year as it was surely the ultimate unreturnable shot. I’ve never seen anything like it and it was to Timea’s credit that she laughed after it had happened (I think Carla may have apologised to her too, but she didn’t need to).

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  3. How has Aga not played her best? Which player have you been watching?
    Aga has been playing very well since the end of 2015. That said, Suarez Navarro will win, it’s a bad matchup for Aga.

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    • I agree. Suarez Navarro is able to beat Aga. Aga is playing with some ITF regulars and also lower rank players therefore she plays well. Friedsam should have won if she has more experiences.

      I also think this is a bad match up. I really have enough watching Aga, Kerber…..give me some new faces.

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      • Hello..the exhibition match in Thailand is not worth mentioning. The evidence is she got pushed by Friedsam and lucky enough to win due to opponent’s injuries. Puig’s match also exposed her usual weakness – lack of powers. Now, she plays someone can move around better than the two juniors. I am sure Suarez Navarro has more controls on the court than Friedsam. Surely, she can beat Aga.

        To be fair. I think this match can go either way and will be decided by Suarez Navarro (not Aga).

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      • The opponents injury ? What injury ? She had cramps… Anna Lena even said after that match she wasn’t sure whether she was injured or was cramping. She bought herself an near 8 minute time out, that didn’t work out well for her. As her question was answered, she was cramping. Perhaps, had she not fist pumped every single point she won in the first set, and conserved her energy (and focus on what she need to do). She might not have been so gassed that the second, that went by in 20 minutes, or she might have had something in reserved to finish the match. In any case, lets hope she learns a lesson from it. She needs to work on her fitness; and reduce the histrionics. Regardless, the first sets course was changed by a incorrect line call, at 5-4, 30-15. The ball hit the line and was skidding away, that would have put Aga one point from the set, instead it got dicey. Yes, Radwanska made some poor choices (shot selection), and she ended up losing the set. The ending of the match was all too dramatic, and the bottom line is Anna Lena was not going to close out the match, cramps or no cramps. As far as luck… the old tennis adage… you have to be good to be lucky – and lucky to be good.

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  4. Aga has been no where near her best this tournament, however as the tournament has progressed she has become slightly better, her first round performance was terrible, it was hard to watch, even against Genie she wasnt anywhere close to she can be. Against Puig I felt that she was at least somewhat she usually is. Friedsam played a very good match, but Aga could have taken it in two sets, she made some unusually poor decisions near the end of that first set.
    This can go either way, I havent seen Carla’s matches, but if she is playing well unlike Aga who is just managing to get by then Carla has a chance.

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    • I have a suspicion (no more than that; I don’t know) that Aga’s not playing anywhere near her best has been a deliberate choice for her and her team. They’ve seen her burn herself out in other tournaments (most notably in the 2014 AO, where she was shadow of her former self when she played Domi in the semis) and have adopted a strategy of ensuring she saves as much energy for the last rounds as possible.
      If as looks likely the winner of their match will go on to meet Serena in the semis, she’s going to need it.

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      • The AO of 2014, Radwanska fell victim to bad scheduling. She played her quarter-final match on Wednesday evening. Beating a heavily favoured Victoria Azarenka won had a 12-3 H2H advantage (and won their last 7 matches). Cibulkova played her quarter-final match early Tuesday afternoon (she a full 48 hrs recovery time). Radwanska had to turn around and play their semi-final match early Thursday afternoon. With about 17 hrs recovery time. After a big win (which would be emotional) and little recovery time, one can understand how she might have been flat.

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  5. ‘Gavrilova’s match was equally turbulent as she recovered from a bagel opening set to beat a frustrated, Daria Gavrilova, 0-6 6-3 6-2.’ tiny error.
    I really hope Aga can pull this off!

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      • James you’ve done a great job keeping all this going whilst holding down a job at the same time. It’s no wonder you’re exhausted though with so much to cover when a slam is on.

        BTW, on the off chance that anyone’s wondering “Liskerrett Working in Wood” is also me (Graham Giles).
        It was the name of a woodworking group I designed a website for as part of a computer skills course I was doing three years ago. I haven’t yet figured the WordPress posting system well enough to post under my own name consistently!

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      • Thanks, Graham. It’s been a fun few weeks but I am relieved that the tournament is approaching its conclusion! I was wondering with the two names, I guessed they were both you. WordPress can be confusing, it took me quite a while to get used to it!

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  6. I don’t think that Radwanska will be overlooking Saurez-Navarro in this encounter. Carla won their last meeting in 3 sets. The first set was completely entertaining tennis. Then it seemed Radwanska went away, only to wake up a little too late in the final set. Saurez-Navarro is no where near the form she was at, last year, when they met. Radwanska’s current form is questionable; but I think her confidence level is definitely better, and she is more experienced at this stage of a Grand Slam. I believe that will be enough to get her into the semi-finals. I also think it will be in 2 sets, but even if it goes 3; I still see Radwanska getting through. They only thing that would stop her is injury.

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    • IMO, part of being a fan is being optimistic about the player you’re supporting. I doubt if many people this time last year thought Flavia would win the US Open.

      Since you mention JJ, I think she’s got the right attitude to winning slams. She says it’s her “dream” to win one – in other words, that she doesn’t really expect it to happen but would (obviously) be delighted if it did and will continue working towards it. I get the impression on the other hand that Aga will be really disappointed if she doesn’t win one.

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