Saturday, 30 August 2014

US Open day 7: Make or break for Caroline

Upset of the previous day:

Aleksandra Krunic def. Petra Kvitova 6-4 6-4

Following Halep's massive loss yesterday, Kvitova follows her footsteps in losing to another unheralded player. Aleksandra Krunic played the match of her life, running down shots that would have been winners against any other players, and managed to beat the reigning Wimbledon champion. Kvitova was unnerved by Krunic's impossible court coverage, and hit herself out of the tournament. Aleksandra's game is kind of like Wozniacki with a better forehand, so she has the potential to do well given how brainless the other players are. Another shocking loss for Kvitova when her draw has opened up considerably. Looks like her second Wimbledon was kind of fluky as well.

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Sara Errani vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

Errani was lucky that Venus committed so many errors in her match, and she will be happy she's not facing Halep instead. Mirjana's game is even riskier than Venus, so Sara already had the perfect warm-up. The crowd will be firmly behind the Croatian though, as she's the story of the tournament so far, having struggled with her private life and making a comeback here after 15 years. Nevertheless, Sara will be prepared as she silenced her doubters defiantly against Venus, as the crowd was decidedly on Venus' side. Every fairytale has to end and not every story has a fairytale ending.

Pick: Errani in 2 sets

Maria Sharapova vs. Caroline Wozniacki

Plagued by serving woes and uneven play, Wozniacki has the perfect opportunity to upset the hard hitting Russian here. Lisicki's game was too risky, and the volatile German just couldn't find the court in her nervy 3rd round, but Wozniacki thrives on the big occasions. The Dane's superior court coverage will trouble Maria, and will make her hit that extra ball. Sharapova's game is frankly extremely fragile now, so Caroline just needs to keep getting the ball back with interest and make Sharapova make the error. An upset is very possible here.

Pick: Wozniacki in 3 sets

Belinda Bencic vs. Jelena Jankovic

Barely losing games, Jankovic is quietly advancing to the 2nd week with minimal fuss. One thing to note is that the Serbian has yet to lose serve in her 3 matches. While this is definitely about to change against Bencic, you can see that Jelena is more confident of her serve now, and her game flows with it. Bencic's game is kind of like Jelena, but the former number 1 has a better serve and more experience. With her cruising through her 3 matches, it's hard not to pick Jelena, even though Belinda will definitely put up a better fight.

Pick: Jankovic in 2 sets

Lucie Safarova vs. Peng Shuai

Peng's resurgence is very impressive, but she will meet someone who she has never beaten in 4 tries. Lucie Safarova is enjoying her best year in majors, reaching the latter stages in almost all the slams, and will be the favoured player to reach the last 8. Not too sure why Shuai is winless against Lucie, but Peng will need to mix things up to unnerve the Czech. Approach the net, hit some low slice shots, and make Lucie earn the point. That is precisely not Peng's game, so it's a done deal here.

Pick: Safarova in 2 sets

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