Sunday, 12 August 2012

WTA Montreal: Semi-final Predictions

Petra Kvitova
The final four in Montreal have guaranteed that we will see a first title for either Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Lucie Safarova or Li Na in 2012.  Lets take a look at the semi-finals...

Petra Kvitova vs. Caroline Wozniacki - Wozniacki and Kvitova topped the rankings at the end of 2011, but both have failed to ignite in 2012.  Kvitova has struggled to bring her A-game in the big matches this year, but she has the biggest game of the remaining four left in the competition.  Kvitova has never performed that well on outdoor hard courts, which makes this week even sweeter for the Czech player who enjoyed her first top 10 win of the year with a 6-1 6-1 demolition over Marion Bartoli in the third round.  

Wozniacki looks to be on the way up once more and fought well to get past Varvara Lepchenko in the third round and then needed six match points to beat Aleksandra Wozniak in the quarter-finals.  Her record in three set matches had been poor up to the Olympics (3-7) but she has now won her last three (Keothavong, Wickmayer and Lepchenko), which will have given the Dane a great deal of confidence.  I think this will be an interesting match.  Kvitova has the firepower, but Wozniacki is the far more consistent player; based on their form this week, I give the advantage to Kvitova.
Prediction - Kvitova in 3 sets

Lucie Safarova
Lucie Safarova vs. Li Na - Safarova will climb into the top 20 for the first time in her career by virtue of her efforts this week.  She could be approaching towards the top 10 if only she could raise her game at the Grand Slams; she has failed to get past the second round of any of the three majors this year.  Her biggest win this week was a 7-6 7-6 victory over reigning US Open champion, Sam Stosur in the third round.

Li Na has had a topsy-turvy year; she started in great form in Australia but suffered a heartbreaking loss to Kim Clijsters in Australia.  She then went walkabouts until the clay court season where she picked up her form in Madrid and Rome before again dropping off again at Roland Garros and into the grass court season.  Li and Safarova match up quite closely in their game styles but as their head-to-head shows in favour of Li, the Chinese player has the edge.
Prediction - Li in 2 tight sets

In Toronto, Novak Djokovic will take on Richard Gasquet in the final... I fancy another title win for Djokovic in 2 sets.

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