Thursday, 7 August 2014

Montreal QF: Path opens up for Venus

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Venus Williams

With the massive upsets yesterday, Venus Williams suddenly is the favourite to win here. Carla Suarez Navarro benefitted from a jarringly bad performance from Sharapova, when the Russian really should have lost in straight sets. Venus looks sharp after an upset of her own over Kerber, and looks poised to reach the semi-finals of a Premier event. Let's hope she's not too tired after her long match with Kerber.

Pick: Williams in 2 tight sets

Serena Williams vs. Caroline Wozniacki

Serena was tested against Safarova, but the Czech never had the mental strength to upset the number 1 seed anyway. The American will face a major test against resurgent Caroline Wozniacki, who breezed through her matches barely dropping games. There is no doubt that Serena's game can overpower the Dane. However, Serena will need to be sharp and stingy with her errors. The way Caroline is playing now resembles her peak form from 2011, which will trouble Serena. Let's see how Serena handles her.

Pick: Serena in 3 tight sets

Coco Vandeweghe vs. Ekaterina Makarova

Serbian killer, Coco Vandeweghe surprises everyone by reaching the quarter-finals here. Her big serve suits the hard courts here, and her game is more mature than it was a few years ago. She will face Makarova, who upset Kvitova in another roller coaster match. Seems like consistency will never be Petra's forte. These 2 are quite evenly matched, but Makarova is more experienced on the big stage. The Russian should be the slight favourite here, as Coco had 2 marathon matches in a row.

Pick: Makarova in 3 sets

Victoria Azarenka vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

Even though Azarenka owns a commanding lead over Radwanska in their career heads-to-heads, Radwanska dismantled the Belarussian in their last match in Melbourne. Since then, Victoria has never been the same again. Coming back from injury, Victoria seemed to have lost some zip in her shots, and her serve is more inconsistent. Agnieszka will capitalize on that vulnerability and try to slowly even the heads-to-heads. If Azarenka wins this though, it will be her announcement to the world that she is truly back.

Pick: Radwanska in 3 sets

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