Women’s Quarterfinal: Preview and Predictions


This has been a tournament filled with a number of upsets on the women’s side, but it has set up a fascinating set of quarterfinals. This round will feature a pair of key match ups between some of the biggest names on the women’s side, a very intriguing match up between 2 top 10 seeds, and a pair of unseeded players that are in search of their first grand slam semi final.

Johanna Konta vs. Shuai Zhang:

Preview: Both women advanced to this round in dramatic fashion. Johanna Konta managed to escape a thrilling 3 hour contest against seeded Ekaterina Makarova, while Zhang took advantage of a hampered Madison Keys to advance. These two have split their pair of meeting on the WTA Tour, but Konta got the best of Zhang in their only other meeting at a Grand Slam. Zhang got a couple huge wins over Cornet and Halep in the first two rounds of this tournament, but last night’s match against a hobbled Keys made me realize this girl is nowhere near ready for this moment. Konta looks confident and ready to continue her run, so I like the Brit to book her trip to the final 4.

Prediction: Johanna Konta 

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Victoria Azarenka vs. Angelique Kerber:

Preview: Kerber has been one of the most interesting players over the last 12 months. She has been a tad inconsistent, but is still ranked in the top 10. This will be her first match up against a seeded player this tournament. She has won 8 straight sets since dropping the opening set of her first round match to Doi, but will have her hands full against arguably the hottest player in the women’s game. Vika is finally back. She won the warm up tournament in Brisbane and has been nothing short of dominant throughout the first 4 rounds of this tournament. Vika should be the more confident of the two having won 6 of their 7 head to head match ups, including a 6-3 6-1 win over Kerber a few weeks ago in the final of Brisbane. Kerber should feel good about making the quarters, but I expect her run here to end the same way it did in Brisbane, with a straight set loss to Azarenka.

Prediction: Victoria Azarenka

Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Carla Suarez Navarro:

Preview: Both of these women have gone under the radar, but both are playing at a high level right now, which makes this a fascinating match up. Suarez Navarro has dropped a couple sets in the tournament, but has prevailed due to her excellent ball striking. She has never possessed the power of a Serena or Sharapova, but has been very accurate with her groundies throughout the tournament. She will need to be consistently accurate again to have a shot tonight. Radwanska is known as the best defensive player on the women’s tour, and she rarely beats herself. She has had her ups and downs over the last 6 months, but looks to be back to normal. Navarro emerged victorious in their only other meeting over the last few years, so it wouldn’t be unheard of for her to beat Randwanska. This should be a very tight contest, but I like Suarez Navarro to pull the upset over Aga tonight.

Prediction: Carla Suarez Navarro

Next: (Nick Kyrgios: Unlike No Other)

Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova

Preview: This is clearly the best match up of the quarter finals. This is one of the most storied rivalries in the women’s game, but it hasn’t been much of a rivalry considering Serena has beaten Maria in their last 15 meetings. This will be their 4th meeting at the Australian Open. Serena has not only won all 4 matches, but done it in dominant fashion by taking 8 of the 9 sets played against Maria. This is just a bad match up for Maria because her serve just can’t do any damage to Serena. Maria is coming off her best serving performance when she aced Bencic over 20 times, but Bencic is nowhere near the returner Serena is. Honestly, I’ll be pulling for Maria to finally conquer this demon, but I would be silly to pick against Serena after the way she has dominated Maria over the past decade.

Prediction: Serena Williams