Wimbledon: Women’s 4th Rd Predictions


Wimbledon: Who will win the Williams wrangle?


The 4th round has been decided in the top half of the women’s draw. The major seeds have fared well, with only (7) Ana Ivanovic and (9) Carla Suarez Navarro failing to reach this stage amongst the top ten.

Here’s a look at the upcoming 4th round matches and who I think will reach the quarters.

(1) Serena Williams vs (16) Venus Williams

Serena appears to be feeling the pressure in her bid for the ‘Grand Slam.’ The American scarcely survived the 3rd round against Britain’s Heather Watson, who blew a double break 3-0 lead and failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the deciding set. Serena relied as much on her opponent’s nerves as she did her own level of play to scarcely survive the anxious struggle 62 46 75. Considering her early exits at Wimbledon in the past couple of years, she’ll no doubt be relieved to still be in the contest, though her next opponent is the one she admittedly fears the most.

Her big sister, Venus hasn’t yet dropped a set in reaching the 4th round here for the first time since 2011. Like Serena, Venus is a former five time champion at this event and still plays her very best tennis at the venue.

Serena leads the head to head 14-11, winning three of their five meetings at Wimbledon. Considering four of those matches were finals, it seems shocking to consider that these two are actually meeting as early as the last sixteen. Though Venus is by no means the player she once was, she can still beat Serena on her day, as she did in their latest match at Montreal last summer. Though it will be a typically fraught encounter, Serena’s recent big match success should see her through.

Prediction: Serena Williams

(23) Victoria Azarenka vs (30) Belinda Bencic

Azarenka is certainly the dark horse in this competition considering her deceptively low ranking. It’s clear that without the injury struggles, the Belarusian would still be in the world’s top five. As of yet, she hasn’t dropped a set in reaching the 4th round for the first time since 2012.

The Bencic express just keeps on rolling! Coming in off of her first title in Eastbourne, the Swiss has extended her winning streak to nine straight matches in reaching her first Wimbledon 4th round. The junior champion of 2013 has been forced to fight through two three setters and recover from 1-5 down in the 1st set to beat Bethanie Mattek Sands 75 75 in the 3rd round. How she keeps finding the energy to continue winning such close contests is beyond me.

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The pair have never played before. In what will be a battle from the baseline, I feel that Azarenka will have most of her success bludgeoning the return of serve. However, Bencic is the better athlete and will probably use angled shots when she can to out manoeuvre Azarenka. Though Bencic will go down fighting, I feel that Azarenka is on her way back and will have too much attitude and experience for the eighteen year old.

Prediction: Victoria Azarenka

(4) Maria Sharapova vs Zarina Diyas

Sharapova has looked composed thus far in not dropping a set. In what was undoubtedly her toughest match, the Russian eventually curbed a late fight back to finish off (29) Irina Camelia Begu 64 63 in the third round. Nevertheless, Sharapova won’t be looking too far ahead considering she hasn’t reached the quarters here since 2011.

Diyas has fought her way through to a second straight 4th round at Wimbledon. Along the way, she has accounted for two seeds; (24) Flavia Pennetta 63 26 64 in the 1st round and (14) Andrea Petkovic 75 64 in the 3rd round. With these wins behind her and nothing to lose, the Kazakh will be dangerous.

Sharapova won their only previous meeting in the 3rd round of this year’s Australian Open. The hammering 61 61 score line will give Sharapova confidence that she can break her recent run of early losses here. Sharapova’s bigger game, attitude and experience should see her through safely, though I expect Diyas to hit some nice, clean winners from the back court.

Prediction: Maria Sharapova

(6) Lucie Safarova vs Coco Vandeweghe

Safarova is doing a fine job of backing up her run to the French Open final. The Czech has continued to develop a true top ten mentality in coming back from a set behind twice this week. Against Alison Riske in the 1st round, she trailed 3-5 in the second set only to win 36 75 63 and in the 3rd round against Eastbourne semi finalist, Sloane Stephens she recovered to win 36 63 61. Though she’s a long way away from reaching the semis as she did last year, Safarova is developing a previously unheard of reputation for sticking in matches.

Vandeweghe has really put her big serve to use this week in reaching her first Grand Slam 4th round. In the process, the American stunned Birmingham finalist, (11) Karolina Pliskova 76(5) 64 in the 2nd round and (22) Samantha Stosur 62 60 in the 3rd round. A true specialist on this surface, Vandeweghe will be tough for anyone to beat.

The two have never played before. For both players, the serve and return will be paramount to their success. Safarova is definitely the better athlete with a greater variety of shots and her lefty game should expose Vandeweghe’s lack of mobility. If Vandeweghe finds her serve however, it isn’t unusual for her to hit double figure aces. I feel that Vandeweghe will shut Safarova out of a lot of service games and could well spring yet another upset.

Prediction: Coco Vandeweghe

Next: Wimbledon: Women's Predictions, Day Six

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