Monday, July 10, 2017

2017 WIMBLEDON: Women's Quarterfinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the women's quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2017. Last year I correctly predicted 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals. I will also predict this year's men's quarterfinals.

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [7] vs. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) [14] Angelique Kerber (GER) [1]. The 2015 Wimbledon finalist took out the 2016 Wimbledon finalist and World #1 Angie Kerber in a high-quality 4th round match that was decided 6-4 in the third set. She will face Kuznetsova who still has not dropped a set through four rounds of world-class  grass competition. The Russian has not done well on grass in the past and has a 1-3 head-to-head against the Spaniard. This does not bode well for the 2-time major champion to reach her 1st Wimbledon semifinal, and does it make it likely the Spaniard is on her way to reaching her 2nd Wimbledon final in three years. PREDICTION: Muguruza.

Magadalena Rybarikova (RUS)  vs. Coco Vandeweghe (USA) [24] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [5]. For the second time American Coco Vandeweghe has reached the final 8 at Wimbledon, following up on her breakout major semifinal in Australia earlier this year. She is another player who has yet to drop a set this year, and she just dismissed the #5 player in the world, Caroline Wozniacki to reach the quarterfinals. On paper it would seem that having to face the only unseeded quatrerfinalist, #87 Rybarikova would be an advantage. However, its always about match-ups and  this match-up is apparently a bad one for Coco since she lost to Rybarikova last month in Paris and also last year on grass at Birmingham. My heart wants the American to reach her 1st Wimbledon semifinal, but my head thinks Rybarikova is probably going to maintain her winning streak. PREDICTION: Rybarikova.

Venus Williams (USA) [10] vs. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [13]This should be the most important match up of the 4 quarterfinal matches. Is the shock 2017 French Open winner really at the very top of the women's game? Can the 20-year-old from Latvia beat the 5-time Wimbledon champion on her best surface, one year after Venus reached another Wimbledon semifinal, her 9th of her career (8-1 record). If Ostapenko does win this match, she will end all the whispers about her French Open title being a fluke, and will announce the arrival of a major force in women's tennis. In fact, just by reaching the quarterfinals in the tournament after her first major win puts her in the company of legends like Kim Clijsters. If Venus wins this match then I would expect her to reach her 9th Wimbledon final and 2nd major final for the year, an amazing feat at the age of 36. PREDICTION: Venus.

Simona Halep (ROU) [2] vs. Johanna Konta (GBR) [6]This should be a blockbuster quarterfinal between the two players closest in rank. As I said before, it's all about a match-up between two players and Konta leads Halep 2-0 in their head-to-head, although both encounters have been nail-biting 3-set wins. Konta is now the odds-makers favorite to win the title, which is sort f shocking considering there are four other major champions remaining in the draw and that Konta is yet to reach her first major final. Happily for Britain's chances at ending a 3-decade drought of a British female Wimbledon champion, those major champions are going head to head in two of the four quarterfinalists, so this should make the path for Konta bit easier, but to win the title she could have to beat 3 Top 10 players in a row. PREDICTION: Konta.

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