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2023 US Open: Final guesses for the women’s quarterfinals

Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

When the US Open women’s draw was first announced, I predicted who would reach the quarterfinal stage. With Aryna Sabalenka’s win Monday night, I successfully selected five of the eight quarterfinalists (Gauff, Muchova, Vondrousova, Zheng, Sabalenka). That being said, I wrongly believed Elena Rybakina would win the tournament.

Of course, the US Open has already brought us one change. That is Aryna Sabalenka took over the top WTA ranking from Iga Swiatek. Might Sabalenka win the US Open which Swiatek won in 2022, too?

Five women will be bidding for their first major singles title. The other three will all be trying to capture just their second major. Let’s analyze each match and predict who will make it one step closer to the crown.

Prediction who wins the women’s quarterfinals at the US Open

Quarterfinal 1: (20) Jelena Ostapenko v. (6) Coco Gauff

2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko shocked defending champion Iga Swiatek in the 4th round. With the loss, Swiatek moves to 0-4 against Ostapenko and will lose her number-one ranking at the conclusion of the tournament. Ostapenko was at her fearless best, bossing Swiatek into the corners and hitting winners at ease.

Ostapenko will take on American Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals. Gauff, who entered the tournament as one of the favorites to take the title, has been up and down during her first four matches. Crucially though, Gauff has rallied behind a voracious American crowd and pulled through tight situations.

Earlier this year, Ostapenko outhit and outplayed Gauff in the Australian Open. Ostapenko’s high-risk high-reward game makes it difficult to predict her matches. The US Open plays slower than the Australian Open, and Gauff is a different player now than she was earlier this year. This match will be a seesaw battle, but Gauff will prevail.

Prediction: Gauff in three sets

Quarterfinal 2: (30) Sorana Cirstea v. (10) Karolina Muchova

Earlier this week, I watched in amazement after Sorana Cirstea defeated Elena Rybakina in arguably the best match of the tournament. Cirstea has had a sensational year on the American hard courts, reaching the quarterfinals in Indian Wells and the semifinals in Miami. She is hitting her forehand as big as I’ve ever seen, and her movement has also improved.

Karolina Muchova has quietly moved through the first week of the US Open. Muchova has enjoyed a stellar year, including finishing runner-up at the French Open and Cincinnati. Should she remain healthy, she has the game to be a mainstay in the top 10.

Muchova and Cirstea have already met three times this year, including just a few weeks ago. Muchova leads their head-to-head, but I’ll give the edge to Cirstea. She has been more impressive in her wins, and I think she will be able to hit through Muchova to reach her first major semifinal.

Prediction: Cirstea in straight sets

Quarterfinal 3: (9) Marketa Vondrousova v. (17) Madison Keys

Reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova has advanced to the US Open quarterfinals for the first time in her career. Vondrousova was pushed in her 4th round match against American Peyton Stearns and will face Stearns’s compatriot Madison Keys in the quarterfinals.

Like Vondrousova, Keys also had a good performance at Wimbledon. Keys was the 2017 US Open finalist and she breezed through Jessica Pegula in the previous round; Pegula was one of the favorites to take the title.

This match will be one of contrasting styles. Vondrousova will try to use her heavy lefty forehand and backhand drop shots to disrupt Key’s power groundstrokes. Given her recent form at the majors, it is hard to bet against Vondrousova. She likely will have enough in her arsenal to thwart Keys.

Prediction: Vondrousova in three sets

Quarterfinal 4: (23) Zheng Qinwen v. (2) Aryna Sabalenka

Chinese youngster Zheng Qinwen has been growing in form and confidence over the last two years. Zheng ousted last year’s finalist Ons Jabeur in the previous round. She is now bidding to become the fourth Chinese woman to reach a major semifinal in singles (Zheng Jie, Li Na, Peng Shuai).

With Swiatek’s loss to Ostapenko, Aryna Sabalenka will rise to world number one next week. The news did not unsettle Sabalenka, as she dismantled Daria Kasatkina in the 4th round.

This match will be a big-hitting affair, but one that Sabalenka should win. Sabalenka has not dropped many games this tournament and is the only player to have not lost a set in the women’s draw. I do not see her dropping one in this match.

Prediction: Sabalenka in straight sets

Next. John McEnroe has strong views on Djokovic, Alcaraz, and Swiatek. dark