Tuesday, 8 January 2013

WTA Sydney: Quarter-Final Predictions

Svetlana Kuznetsova
1. Svetlana Kuznetsova v Angelique Kerber
This week's big story has been the resurgence of Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Caroline Wozniacki in her second round match, 7-6 6-1 6-2.  The Russian player, who will be unseeded at next weeks Australian Open, has been building from strength to strength and faces another tough challenge in the quarter-finals; step forward, Angelique Kerber who saved set points in her 6-2 7-5 win over Galina Voskoboeva.  Kuznetsova and Kerber have played just once before where the Russian prevailed in three sets.  Kerber is a different player now so it is hard to bring that result into the context of this match. The German player has not set the world alight in 2013, but her consistency and ability to hit winners will be the crucial factor in this match...

Prediction - Kerber to beat Kuznetsova in 2 tight sets

2. Agnieszka Radwanska v Roberta Vinci
Agnieszka Radwanska continued her unbeaten start to 2013 with a 6-4 6-3 win over Kimiko Date-Krumm.  The word number three wil take on Roberta Vinci in the quarter-finals, who came back from a 6-3 3-0 deficit to beat Jelena Jankovic in a third set tiebreak.  Radwanska will be looking for revenge having lost to Vinci in their most recent match-up at the US Open, which saw the Italian make her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final.  Radwanska was well below her best during the summer hard court season last year but I think this time round, she will secure the win in straight sets...

Prediction - Radwanska to beat Vinci in 2 sets

3. Li Na v Madison Keys
2013 has seen a number of the hot prospects on tour make their presence known and this week has been no different with Madison Keys the star of show by progressing to her first WTA Premier quarter-final.  She has comfortably seen off two quality players in Lucie Safarova and Zheng Jie.  Keys now faces the ultimate test against Li Na, who brushed aside the challenge of Ayumi Morita by losing just one game. Keys could take advantage of a weary Li, who has had to adjust quick from the the shivering Shenzhen to the sun-laden Sydney; her run reminds me of when Bojana Jovanovski blazed her way through to the semi-finals in 2011.  She fell to Li at that stage, but I think Keys could continue the run...

Prediction - Keys to beat Li in 2 very tight sets

4. Sara Errani v Dominika Cibulkova
Sara Errani enjoyed a surprisingly one-sided 2nd round win over Maria Kirilenko, 6-1 6-1.  She now takes on Dominika Cibulkova who came through an epic with Ekaterina Makarova, 7-6 1-6 7-6.  Makarova led 5-3 in the third set, but as has become tradition with her game of late, was unable to pull through the win through.  Cibulkova has not played her best tennis this week, but will have to up her game against the ultra-consistent Italian.  The pair have met on 7 occasions with Cibulkova edging the head-to-head, 4-3. Errani is continuing to rack up the ranking points and a final appearance could be in sight here...

Prediction - Errani to beat Cibulkova in 3 sets

Best of the rest: Hobart
Monica Niculescu to beat Peng Shuai in 3 crazy sets
Kirsten Flipkens to beat Bojana Jovanovski in 2 sets
Klara Zakopalova to beat Tsvetana Pironkova in 3 sets
Jarmila Gajdosova to beat Olga Govortsova in 2 tight sets

In Sydney, I correctly predicted 3 of the 8 quarter-finals from my original predictions, meanwhile I am 4 out of 5 so far in Hobart...


  1. I think your predictions are correct but I have many doubts about Madison, Li has been one of the best start of season than ever on her career, she actually could be the dark horse on this Aussie open with Kerber. I think the final will be between Angelique Kerber and Na Li, but Kerber is a big surprise in the top 10 she's able to beat every player on the top but her nemesis is called Sara Errani, I'm dying to watch this eventual semifinal.

  2. I admit my prediction of Keys to beat Li is rather out there but with the Australian Open approaching, I think Li will be more focused on going deep in the AO draw than winning the title in Sydney and tiring herself out before the big event. Kerber/Errani is looking like the possible SF and based on their recent encounters, I would give the edge to Errani as Kerber seems unable to hit through the Italian.