WTA Stanford: Preview & Predictions


WTA Stanford: With Serena out, can Wozniacki steal Stanford?

The Bank of the West Classic gets underway this week on the hard courts at Stanford, California. This is the first Premier level stop of the US Open Series which consists of a number of North American tournaments played throughout the summer. Whoever gathers the most points in these tournaments stands to potentially earn an extra $1 million in prize money should they win the US Open too.  

Three top 10 players are in action here for the first time since Wimbledon. After a three week break, some will no doubt struggle with the transition back to hard courts and there could be some early upsets. Sadly, the defending champion and winner of three of the last four Stanford titles, Serena Williams was forced to withdraw prior to the tournament due to an elbow injury. With the calendar year Grand Slam on the line later this summer, she wont want to risk anything.

Here’s a look at the draw and who I think will reach the semi finals.


Top Half: (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs (7) Madison Keys

(1) Caroline Wozniacki had a solid grass court season, losing in the semis at Eastbourne and the fourth round at Wimbledon. She will be making her debut at this tournament having taken a late wildcard and is certainly the favourite considering her credentials on summer hard courts. The former two time US Open finalist will have a tricky opening match either way in Mirjana Lucic Baroni or last year’s semi finalist here, Varvara Lepchenko. In the quarters, the other losing semi finalist from last year, (6) Andrea Petkovic will probably lie in wait. On this surface, I expect Wozniacki to be too consistent against any of these players and reach the semis.

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(4) Karolina Pliskova suffered a disappointing exit in the second round of Wimbledon. Though she’s on the verge of the top 10, she’s struggled to back up deep runs on the tour in the majors.  In a big serving section of the draw, Sabine Lisicki and (7) Madison Keys appear to be her most likely challengers. I think Keys has a slight advantage considering her run to the Wimbledon quarters and the home support.

Bottom Half: (3) Carla Suarez Navarro vs (5) Angelique Kerber

(3) Carla Suarez Navarro will be happy to put the grass court season behind her and get back to a higher bouncing surface. Earlier in the year, Navarro made at least the quarters in seven hard court tournaments and is favoured to do so here. French Open quarter finalist, (8) Elina Svitolina is expected to meet her at this stage, though Caroline Garcia shouldn’t be overlooked.

(2) Agnieszka Radwanska is back into the top 10 behind a stellar grass court season, including a final at Eastbourne and the semis at Nottingham and Wimbledon. A former finalist here in 2013, Radwanska will hope to have better results on the summer hard courts than she did back in the spring. Last year’s losing finalist, (5) Angelique Kerber will prove tough to beat should the two meet in the quarters. Their head to head is close and Kerber has also been in fine form lately, though she has a tough opener against Daria Gavrilova. The young Russian has already beaten the likes of Sharapova and Ivanovic this year and pushed Kerber to her limits in Sydney. If Kerber comes through that match, I expect her to reach the semis.

Next: Marin Cilic has truly remarkable US Open record

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