Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2018 WIMBLEDON: Women's Quarterfinals Preview and Predictions

Here are my predictions for the women's quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2018. Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 4 men's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 4 of 4 women's quarterfinals. I will also predict this year's men's quarterfinals.

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) vs. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [12]. This should be a great match of pint-size powerhouses. Both of these players have reached major finals before. 21-year-old Ostapenko did it in last year's French Open, outlasting Simona Halep, to win her first major. Cibulkova did it way back in the 2014 Australian Open final but also won the 2016 Year-End Championships. These are both elite layers and Cibulkova was miffed when the All-England Club bumped her from the seeded players list by inserting Serena Williams at #25.  And she has a 2-0 head-to-head lead over Ostapenko, although bot meetings came before Alona became a major champion. . PREDICTION: Ostapenko.

Daria Kasatkina (RUS) [14]  vs. Angelique Kerber (GER) [11]. To me, this is a "pick-em" match. The two have split their previous 6 matches, including the two they played this year. In fact, they played in Eastbourne just a few weeks ago and the winner (Kerber) was decided by a 3rd set tiebreak! Unfortunately Wimbledon requires a 2-game advantage in the deciding set so this match may become a marathon. If it does, I give the ultra fit German the edge. However, Kasatkina is the modern-day Martina Hingis with her court sense and shotmaking ability and this may drive her opponent crazy.This is the 20-year-old Russian's first major quarterfinal, and I think experience may be the decider here. PREDICTION: Kerber.

Kiki Bertens (NED) [20] vs. Julia Goerges (GER) [13]. Surprisingly, the lower ranked player, Bertens, holds the 2-0 head-to-head lead here and has been having an amazing run, beating Venus Williams and Karolina Pliskova in consecutive rounds to make her career-first major quarterfinal. Both players are very near their career-high rankings so they are both brimming with confidence. Goerges is at or near the top of the tour in numerous important serve statistics categories, including aces hit (257 for the year). On grass serve is so important that I think that will be the deciding factor here. PREDICTION: Goerges.

Serena Williams (USA) [25] vs. Camila Giorgi (ITA). I'm much more worried about this match then other commentators. I have seen Giorgi play in person and she demolishes the ball, as often as she can, with absolutely no plan B (sorta like a diminutive Madison Keys). Serena is definitely getting closer and closer to her pre-pregnancy form and if she does, no one in the draw has much of a chance to stop her from claiming another title. But she's not there yet, and if she has a serious lapse in any of her remaining matches, she could definitely lose. That being said, she has a 3-0 head-to-head against Giorgi and thus should not be surprised by the Italian player's game even though the two have not played since 2016. (They couldn't have played in 2017 because Serena was basically AWOL all season long after winning the Australian Open.) However, here again experience should help Serena and hurt Giorgi, who is playing in her very first major quarterfinal. PREDICTION: Serena.

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