Thursday, 16 May 2013

Rome Quarter-Final Predictions: Azarenka-Stosur, Federer-Janowicz, Nadal-Ferrer

1. Victoria Azarenka v Sam Stosur
Victoria Azarenka
Two players who have avoided the headlines so far this week and probably will continue to lie low tomorrow with their match up third on the Supertennis arena, Victoria Azarenka and Sam Stosur, will clash in the quarter-finals of Rome.  Azarenka tore past Julia Goerges in round two and then benefitted from a retirement today from Ayumi Morita.  Stosur had a big win, perhaps her biggest of the year so far as she snapped a 0-4 head-to-head record against Petra Kvitova, rebounding from the loss of the second set to win 7-5 2-6 6-1.  Kvitova's form is worrying at the moment and she just doesn't seem to have the intensity and is constantly involved in three setters.

Azarenka and Stosur have not met since their fantastic quarter-final at the US Open last year.  Azarenka had won their first six encounters handily, not dropping a set and quickly went 6-1 up in their last match-up; however Stosur put in a terrific performance and was inches away from beating Vika for the first time.  All their previous encounters have come on hard court and clay offers Stosur an advantage in this encounter.  Azarenka is still rather untested this week and I think this will be a battle.  I am tempted to go for Stosur and think this will actually be pretty even; however its the head-to-head that still rings alarm bells with me...

Prediction - Azarenka to beat Stosur in 3 sets

2. Roger Federer v Jerzy Janowicz
Roger Federer
The most interesting of the men's quarter-final will see Roger Federer take on the peaking, Jerzy Janowicz.  The Polish number one made the headlines in Bercy, Paris last year and following a so-so 2013 up till now, he has hit some good form in Rome with back-to-back top ten wins over a pair of Frenchmen, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet.  Janowicz played a stunning third set to beat Gasquet, 3-6 7-6 6-4 although his classless antics rather overshadowed his nerveless display at times.  I would love to see him do that against Federer.  The Swiss star took out Gilles Simon, 6-1 6-2 and although this will be a tough match, his draw has opened up dramatically with Andy Murray and Tsonga both falling early.  This will be a first career match-up and it should be a fascinating one...

Prediction - Federer to beat Janowicz in 3 sets

3. Rafael Nadal v David Ferrer
David Ferrer
I feel rather meh about another quarter-final match-up between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer.  Nadal had to use all his grit to get past an insane effort from Ernests Gulbis who dished up a first set breadstick to the Spaniard before eventually falling, 1-6 7-5 6-4.  It was a fantastic match and Gulbis, although faltering at the end, will be the most dangerous unseeded floater at Roland Garros in 10 days.  Ferrer didn't take to the court today as Phillipp Kohlschreiber pulled out of their 3rd round match due to vertigo.  Ferrer was two points from edging Rafa in Madrid last week, but missed a crucial point and then the rest was history as Nadal won 4-6 7-6 6-0.  I think having held off an all-out attack from Gulbis, Nadal will cruise past Ferrer into the semi-finals where Djokovic should await...

Prediction - Nadal to beat Ferrer in 2 sets

4. Serena Williams v Carla Suarez Navarro
Carla Suarez Navarro
I have been very impressed with Serena Williams this week, who continued her mammoth 21-match winning streak with an absolute beatdown of Dominika Cibulkova, 6-0 6-1.  She also played well against Laura Robson and her draw looks extremely favourable now with Li Na, perhaps the only player who could really have challenged her in the bottom half, falling in an epic two setter to Jelena Jankovic today.  Her opponent tomorrow should not be taken lightly though as Carla Suarez Navarro is enjoying the best season of her career.  She saved match points in her first round match against Nadia Petrova and defeated Lourdes Dominguez Lino without any problems today.  The Spaniard has a beautiful game, but often lacks the intensity and concentration required to succeed.  She's beaten Venus before, but to beat Serena in her current form would be something pretty special...

Prediction - Serena to beat Suarez Navarro in 2 sets

Best of the rest: WTA Quarter-Final Predictions
Jelena Jankovic to beat Simona Halep in 3 sets - I am 50/50 with this match as Halep has played superbly all week.  It has come out of nowhere because she hasn't been relevant at all this year; however she thrives on the clay and will be very dangerous.

Best of the rest: ATP Quarter-FInal Predictions
Novak Djokovic to beat Tomas Berdych in 2 tight sets - Djokovic has cruised so far and Berdych took out his pigeon, Kevin Anderson today.  I don't see this being particularly close.
Benoit Paire to beat Marcel Granollers in 3 sets - Surely a three setter, but I have to favour Paire, who hit a ton of winners (and not that many unforced errors) against del Potro today.

A so-so day with predictions; I was very happy that I got Stosur's first win over Kvitova correct, but I wanted to see a Vika-Petra match-up.  All to play for in Rome and I am hoping we get a duo of semi-final crackers... Djokovic-Nadal and Sharapova-Azarenka.  Exciting times!


  1. This tournament has been awesome in terms of match ups. And Federer with his agressive variety and pace finally finding an easier way to beat Simon was very interesting and enjoyable. Poor Nadal-He will be tested to the very end which will be ionteresting in itself-how will he pull out of it-physically,mentally. Will he get stronger or weaker? Will he be fully warmed up for Djokovic or tired?

  2. I wouldnt count out Federer just yet to win this whole thing perhaps under the right circumstances. He still has it in him to beat Djokovic through smarts and quick change of pace in 3 setters at least and under the right circumstances might even get past his nemesis Nadal if he follows the trend that certain people are using against him like Gulbis,Dimitrov,Djokovic,Ferrer. He is a genius right? I mean if Ferrer can switch results from the Alcapulco disaaster to the 'almost win' in Madrid,Y can't Federer? his soft return of service to keep the ball safely in play does Nadal a favor...But I still hope Nadal can win this whole tournament-it would be a Titanic victory-more so than winning Roland Garros. He has to beat Ferrer,Federer,Djoko...all of them not easy.