Monday, 30 June 2014

Wimbledon day 9: Surprise semi-finalist in Makarova/Safarova

Upset of the previous day:

Ekaterina Makarova def. Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 6-0

When your opponents posts statistics like 24 winners with just 7 errors, you just have to ackowledge that she's too good. Makarova played a very impressive and tidy match to leave yet another seed tumbling out of the tournament. With her powerful strokes, Agnieszka couldn't play her tricks and just got outhit by the Russian. This is in stark contrast with Makarova's first round encounter where she barely scraped past Kimiko Date-Krumm. With another winnable match next, Makarova looks set to make her slam semi-final debut.

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Petra Kvitova vs. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova

Barbora continues to stun the tennis world by upsetting Caroline Wozniacki in the 4th round. Can she do it against the highest ranked Czech player on tour? This marks Petra's 5th consecutive quarter-final appearance here in Wimbledon, showing that her game is truly suited to the slick surface. With her thundering strokes and serve, Strycova cannot deploy her crafty drop shots and net play. If a baseline battle ensues, Kvitova will win 90% of them.

Pick: Kvitova in 2 sets

Lucie Safarova vs. Ekaterina Makarova

Before this tournament, Lucie Safarova was barely winning matches on grass. She turned the tides this year by making only her 2nd quarter-final in a Grand Slam with an unexpected run on her worst surface. Makarova will revel at this big opportunity to reach her first semi-finals, but will the occasion get to her? The heads to heads is tied at 1-1, but Makarova won their last encounter last year. Pretty evenly matched for these 2 southpaws, but on grass, you have to favour Makarova.

Pick: Makarova in 2 tight sets

Simona Halep vs. Zarina Diyas

Right after her second round struggle against Tsurenko, Halep rights the ship with a 6-4 6-1 rout of Belinda Bencic. This shows how much Halep is willing to take steps to correct her mistakes and play a better match on her next. Against unheralded Diyas, she will impose her game on the petite Kazakh. Zarina fights well, but against a player of Simona's calibre, it's not going to be enough.

Pick: Halep in 2 sets

Sabine Lisicki vs. Yaroslava Shvedova

With her biggest obstacle Ivanovic out of the way, Lisicki is poised to make yet another quarter-finals here in Wimbledon. Such is the uniqueness of this surface that one player can go completely missing for the whole year, and magically win consecutive matches here. Shvedova has a good grass court game, but Lisicki in Wimbledon is another story. Coupled with the Kazakh's weak mental game, it might be a demolition job for the German.

Pick: Lisicki in 2 sets

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