Tuesday, July 09, 2019

2019 WIMBLEDON: Women's Quarterfinals Preview and Predictions

Here are my predictions for the women's quarterfinals at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships I have also predicted the men's quarterfinals. Last year I predicted 2 of 4 men's quarterfinals correctly and 4 of 4 women's quarterfinals correctly

Ashleigh Barty (AUS) [8] Alison Riske (USA) vs. Serena Williams (USA) [11]. Alison Riske is one of the closest things tennis has to a grass-court specialist. Her winning percentage on grass is 20+ higher than it is on all other surfaces. She has the most grass court wins of any player (14!) on the WTA tour this year. So it was an upset but not exactly a surprise that the 29-year-old American was able to oust the #1 seed Ash Barty from the tournament today. It hasn't been easy for Riske; all 4 matches she has won have gone three sets. excellent tennis. Serena has (again!) played her way into excellent form in a major again, and her last two matches have demonstrated the qualities which always make her a threat at SW19: best serve of all time in the women's game and her overwhelming power combined with deadly accuracy. Happily for Serena she played Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in the Round of 16, a player who has lost every set the two have played, never having won more than 3 games in those sets. Serena won 6-2 6-2 this time. Riske and Serena have never played before, but the two do know each others games, somewhat, having played doubles together. I do think Serena will have much more trouble with Riske than Suarez Navarro, but I don't see her losing a set on her way to yet another major semifinal. PREDICTION: Williams.

Johanna Konta (GBR) [19vs. Barbora Strycova (CZE).  Johanna Konta is Great Britain's great hope to win a major on the women's side. She is coming off of a semifinal run at Roland Garros, which since it is her worst surface, should provide her great confidence that she can at least reach that level here at her home major. Mental toughness is becoming a hallmark of Konta's resurgence. She has won 14 of the last 15 three-set matches she has played, including two against two major champions in Sloane Stephens in the 3rd round and Petra Kvitoba in the 4th. To reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the second time in 3 years she will need to outlast the tenacious Barbora Strycova who likes grass and has defeated Elise Mertens and Kiki Bertens, two seeds, in the last two rounds. Hometown advantage should prevail. PREDICTION: Konta.

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) [2] Karolina Muchova (CZE) vs. Elina Svitolina (UKR) [8]. Elina Svitolina has reached 5 major quarterfinals but has never been able to win a match to reach a major semifinal. She will be facing a first-time major quarterfinalist in Karolina Muchova who won an epic match of the Czech Karolinas by defeating #3 seed (and 2019 Eastbourne champion) Karolina Pliskova 13-11 in the third-set. This is Svitolina's best chance to finally breakthrough at a slam, and I suspect she will make it count. PREDICTIONSvitolina

Simona Halep (ROU) [7] vs. Shuai Zhang (CHN). Halep finally ended the fairy tale run of 15-year-old American Coco Gauff who made the round of 16 in her major tournament debut, becoming the youngest player to reach this far in well over 20 years. Halep won relatively easily, 6-3 6-3, and is now the highest seed remaining in the draw. She earlier dismissed 2-time major champion Victoria Azarenka surprisingly easily, in a match many observers expected her to lose. Shuai Zhang has completed multiple upsets, having beaten Caroline Wozniacki and Caroline Garcia in straight sets earlier in the tournament. I doubt that she will be able to complete another one and expect Halep to reach her second semifinal at Wimbledon. PREDICTION: Halep.

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