Saturday, 2 August 2014

Stanford, Washington SF: Serena to exact revenge

Stanford SF:

Serena Williams vs. Andrea Petkovic

Petkovic ruined an all-Williams encounter, which Serena will be hungry to take revenge for elder sister. Serena showed old signs of being a fighter in her ultra close match against Ivanovic, so Petkovic will need to play much better than against Venus. Andrea was lucky that Venus got tired in the end, but Serena looks fit and ready, so a win for the world number seems more likely. Besides, Serena has dominant wins over Andrea this year, so this match should be the same.

Pick: Williams in 2 sets

Angelique Kerber vs. Varvara Lepchenko

Interestingly, Lepchenko has a leading head to head against the higher ranked Kerber. The American won 4 times in 6 meetings, but lost the most recent 2 meetings in the last 2 years. All of Varvara's victories came when Kerber was still languishing below top 50. Thus, Kerber looks set to inch closer to tying the head to head here. Except for that bizarre bagel set loss to Vandeweghe, Kerber has been playing well and clinical in her matches. It will be a surprise if Lepchenko can cause another huge upset after beating Radwanska.

Pick: Kerber in 2 sets

Washington SF:

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Ekaterina Makarova


As a 2 time grang slam champion, it's really mind-boggling to see Kuznetsova struggling like this. It's not as if she has lost her ability to hit her thunderous forehand. Maybe her serve has regressed a bit, but her flaky mentality is at its best, hindering her from obtaining the results that she can achieve. As a former US Open champion, she should be the favourite here, but Makarova has been steady throughput the tournament. The advantage the Svetlana had will be her extra day off given Vania King's withdrawal. Let's hope Kuznetsova can win this title to give her frail confidence level a boost before New York.

Pick: Kuznetsova in 3 sets

Kurumi Nara vs. Marina Erakovic

Out of nowhere, these 2 slumping players managed to somehow reach the semi-finals. Erakovic has been on a decline recently, struggling to win even the most basic matches. It's not that she doesn't have the game, but her consistency is not there. Seems like she got it right this week, playing good aggressive tennis to win her matches without much trouble. These 2 haven't met since 2011, but Erakovic last won their match with a dreaded double bagel. With the fast hard courts, I believe Erakovic's aggressive game will have the advantage. She just needs to be patient enough to attack on the right points.

Pick: Erakovic in 3 sets

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