Friday, 16 August 2013

Friday at Cincy, Quarter-Final Predictions: Azarenka-Wozniacki, Federer-Nadal

1. Victoria Azarenka v Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki
On four occasions this year, Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova have been drawn into the same quarter of a tournament, but once again, a match between the pair was scuppered.  In a nice consolation we get another match-up that has been begging for a rematch as Azarenka takes on Caroline Wozniacki, which will be the first time they take to the court since Indian Wells in 2011 when Azarenka retired hurt after 3 games.  Azarenka has looked sluggish in both her matches this week, but has yet to drop a set against Vania King or Magdalena Rybarikova

Wozniacki meanwhile had arguably her best win of the year as she took out Kvitova, 3-6 6-2 6-3.  Of course it wasn't streamed much like the entire WTA tournament in Cincy so we can only go on notes from a few tennis people who watched the match and it sounded positive for Caroline.  Wozniacki leads the head-to-head by 4 wins to 2 winning their last 3 clashes.  However since they last played, Vika has become a much tougher player and Wozniacki has certainly regressed in terms of her results.  This should be an intriguing match and although Azarenka is rusty right now, I still think she will be the favourite for this one.

Prediction - Azarenka to beat Wozniacki in 3 sets

2. Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer looked like he was heading for another early exit as he quickly found himself down a set and a break to Tommy Haas in Cincy; however the Swiss maestro produced an impressive turnaround to dig out the win, 1-6 7-5 6-3.  It was no vintage stuff from the Fed, even in the second and third sets, but it was an important victory as he tries to maintain ranking points from last year.  Next up is Rafael Nadal, who lost the middle set of his third round match but came through in 3 once again against Grigor Dimitrov, 6-2 5-7 6-2.  Nadal leads the head-to-head with 20 wins to 10 and routed Federer in both their matches this year, 6-4 6-2 at Indian Wells and 6-1 6-3 in Rome.  No matter how close the scoreline is, this match-up will always remain an exciting spectacle.  Based on form and head-to-head, I have to go for Rafa.

Prediction - Nadal to beat Federer in 2 sets

Best of the rest: WTA Cincy Quarter-Final Predictions
Serena Williams to beat Simona Halep in 2 sets
Jelena Jankovic to beat Roberta Vinci in 3 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Cincy Quarter-Final Predictions
Novak Djokovic to beat John Isner in 3 sets
Juan Martin del Potro to beat Dmitry Tursunov in 2 tight sets
Andy Murray to beat Tomas Berdych in 3 sets

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