US Open: Women’s 4th Round Predictions


US Open: Does Madison hold the key to stopping Serena?

The 4th round has been decided in the top half of the women’s draw of the US Open. Due to the fact three top 10 players (Ana Ivanovic, Karolina Pliskova and Carla Suarez Navarro) were beaten in the 1st round, a number of surprising developments have occurred.

Here, I’ll take a look at the upcoming 4th round matches and predict who I think will reach the quarter finals.


(1/1) Serena Williams vs (19/19) Madison Keys

S. Williams has struggled thus far to keep her bid for the calendar year ‘Grand Slam’ alive. The 33 year old looked decidedly shaky against Kiki Bertens in the 2nd round, recovering from 0-4 down in the tiebreak en route to a 76(5) 63 win. In similarity to the other slams this year, the American was on the brink in the 3rd round too, eventually overcoming Bethanie Mattek Sands’ net advances to win 36 75 60.

Keys has gotten better and better as this tournament has progressed, going beyond the 2nd round here for the first time. Despite struggling to close out matches she should have won this summer, the 20 year old finally got the better of (15/15) Agnieszka Radwanska in the 3rd round. Avenging her Wimbledon quarter final defeat in the process, the American won 63 62 for her first win in five against the Pole.

S. Williams won her only previous match against Keys 76(5) 62 earlier this year in the Australian Open semis. Neither player will hold back as both possess some of the biggest serves and groundstrokes in the game. The pressing question will be whether Keys can contain her unforced error count and not over press, whilst also handling the magnitude of the occasion. I’m sure Lindsay Davenport, Keys’ coach, will have some wise words of advice.

An upset is certainly possible, but given S. Williams’s 51-2 win-loss record this year, I can’t go against her.

Prediction: Serena Williams

(23/23) Venus Williams vs (152/Q) Anett Kontaveit

V. Williams has rebounded brilliantly from an injury impacted summer, reaching the 4th round here for the first time since 2010. Despite struggling to close out her first couple of matches, going to three sets against Monica Puig and Irina Falconi, the 35 year old was all business in the 3rd round. Taking on the recent Toronto champion and conqueror of her younger sister there, (12/12) Belinda Bencic, V. Williams was emphatic in winning 63 64. The American didn’t give the teenager a chance, playing almost hyper aggressive tennis to maintain her perfect record against the Swiss at 4-0, having never lost a set.

Kontaveit is the biggest surprise of the tournament and you’d be forgiven for not having heard of her. The 19 year old Estonian is perhaps best known for being the runner up in the 2012 Girl’s final here but had yet to make any impact on the senior tour until now. Out of the blue, Kontaveit qualified for her third Grand Slam main draw and set about upsetting the likes of recent Washington DC finalist, (31/31) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 75 64 in the 2nd round. Having then defeated Madison Brengle in three sets in the 3rd round, Kontaveit is set to make her top 100 debut. 

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Unsurprisingly, V. Williams and Kontaveit have never met before. V. Williams has a golden opportunity to reach the quarters here, providing she plays up to her full potential. Kontaveit will have nothing to lose and must enjoy the experience.

Prediction: Venus Williams

(13/13) Ekaterina Makarova vs (40/-) Kristina Mladenovic

Makarova has an uncanny habit of sneaking deep into Grand Slams. A semi finalist here last year and a quarter finalist in 2013, the 27 year old has yet to drop a set, accounting for (17/17) Elina Svitolina 63 75 in the 3rd round. Despite Svitolina’s much better form this summer, the Russian maintained her unbeaten record against the Ukrainian with her third win in as many attempts this year.

Mladenovic is rapidly improving, reaching her first Grand Slam 4th round off of the back of 3rd round losses in Paris and Wimbledon. The 22 year old Frenchwoman accounted for the 2004 champion, (30/30) Svetlana Kuznetsova in the 1st round and has yet to drop a set here.

Makarova has beaten Mladenovic in both of their previous meetings, though she was required to come from a set behind both times. The most recent was earlier this year on the clay in Rome, which Makarova won 46 63 61.

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Given the lefty’s experience in Grand Slams, I’ve got to give Makarova the edge though I’m sure Mladenovic will make her work for it.

Prediction: Ekaterina Makarova

(25/25) Eugenie Bouchard vs (43/-) Roberta Vinci

Who’d have thought we’d be discussing Bouchard at this stage of the event? The 21 year old has had such a horrid year but now finds herself having won three straight matches for the first time since the Australian Open. Though it hasn’t been easy, the Canadian has found her way through tough three setters against Polona Hercog and Dominika Cibulkova to equal her showing from last year and attributes her sudden ‘winning streak’ to confidence inducing chats with Jimmy Connors.

Vinci is a canny competitor and stands to reach her third quarter final here in the past four years. The 32 year old has recently regained form, reaching the Toronto quarters and holding match points against Wozniacki in New Haven last week. Though pushed to three sets against Denisa Allertova and Mariana Duque Marino, the Italian will feel confident ahead of her match against Bouchard.

The reason for this lies in their only previous meeting, which came in the 1st round of New Haven just last week. Vinci crushed Bouchard 61 60 in a match which Bouchard described as a ‘reality check.’

As Bouchard admits herself, she must be patient and expect a lot of sliced backhands if she’s to overturn last week’s rout. Though I imagine the score line will be closer, I feel that Vinci will still be too consistent and progress into the quarters.

Prediction: Roberta Vinci

Next: US Open: Women's Preview & Predictions

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