Tuesday, September 03, 2013

2013 US OPEN: Women's Quarterfinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the women's quarterfinals at the US Open for 2013. Last year I correctly predicted 4 of 4 men's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals.

Serena Williams (USA) [1] vs. Angelique Kerber (GER) [8] Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) [18]. Defending  champion Serena Williams looks like a woman on a mission again and it is unlikely that the crafty lefty will be able to stop the 16-time champion from her ultimate goal of reaching her 7th US Open final. The Spaniard has only been past the 4th round at a major twice before, at the 2009 Australian Open and 2008 French Open very early in her career. She had a big breakthrough on Sunday outlasting World #8 Angelique Kerber by playing fearless aggressive tennis to reach her first quarterfinal in New York. I was lucky enough to see this entire match from my seat in Louis Armstrong Stadium and came away very impressed with Suarez Navarro's beautiful and powerful one-handed backhand. However, Serena has beaten her in their two previous meetings, including on her way to defending her Rome title earlier this year. There's no reason why she won't do so again on the hard courts of New York. PREDICTION:Williams.

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [3] Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) [24] vs Na Li (CHN) [5].This should have been another tight meeting between the #3 seed Aggie Radwanska and 2011 French Open champion Li Na but surprisingly, it was the Polish player who faltered. Credit should be given to Makarova, who is no stranger to upsetting top seeds at the majors, having done so to Serena Williams at the 2012 Australian Open 4th round. Li is a powerful hard court player and has had great success on the hard courts in Melbourne but not so much on the hard courts of New York. That may be changing this year if she can win this very winnable match to reach her very first semifinal in New York.  PREDICTION: Li.

Roberta Vinci (ITA) [10] vs Simona Halep (ROU) [21] Flavia Pennetta (ITA)This is a very curious match up between two Italian players for a semifinal berth at the US Open, the second consecutive year where this has happened. Last year the two compatriots were World #4 Sara Errani and her doubles partner Roberta Vinci. This year, however the two Italians are Vinci and the "grande dame"of Italian tennis Flavia Pennetta, who has always played some of her best tennis in New York.  It is interesting to note that the Italian player who is playing in her second consecutive US Open quarterfinal is the unheralded Vinci, not the World #4 Errani. However it will most likely be Pennetta who will win her 4th U.S. Open quarterfinal and  reach her very first career major semifinal. PREDICTIONPennetta

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [2] or Ana Ivanovic (SRB) [13] vs. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK). Because of the torrential rain that fell on Monday, the fourth round match between Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic was eventually cancelled. This means that the participants in this final quarterfinal are not known at this time. However, Azarenka has a very good head to head record against Ivanovic so I believe that she will win this match and reach her second career quarterfinal in New York. Against her potential quarterfinal opponent Hantuchova she only has a 2-2 record, but I still think that Azarenka will find a way to reach her second career consecutive final. PREDICTION: Azarenka. 

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