It’s quarterfinals time at the US Open. With just seven matches left to determine a champion, things are really heating up in Flushing Meadows. We are here to predict all four of the quarterfinal matches for you. Our panelists today are myself (Yesh Ginsburg), Linda Celia Ellis, and Niall Murray.
Panelists Predictions US Open Women’s Quarterfinal Matches
Serena Williams vs. Simona Halep
I actually haven’t been impressed with Serena for most of this tournament. Her serve has been dominant, but her baseline game has shown weaknesses. I don’t know if Halep believes she can pull off this upset, but if she can make inroads into Serena’s service games then the shocker is definitely on the table here.
Prediction: Halep in 3
If there were any questions surrounding Serena Williams’ fitness prior to New York, then the world #1 has defiantly answered them. She hasn’t dropped serve all tournament and has only faced one break point. Standing between Williams and the semi-finals is Simona Halep, who convincingly defeated Carla Suarez -Navarro. Halep may be playing some great tennis, but I can’t see her causing Williams any problems. If Serena maintains her current level, Halep doesn’t stand a chance.
Prediction: Williams in 2
These two have played eight times and Williams holds a winning record of 7-1. Halep’s toughest match so far this tournament was against Babos who plays a very similar game style to her, but Halep was a little better at all aspects of the game. Against Williams, Halep faces a player that can out serve her and out hit her and not allow her to turn defense into offensive play. Although Halep will be able to stay in points a lot longer than many of Williams’ opponents, winning those points will be difficult.
Prediction: Williams in 2
Caroline Wozniacki vs. Anastasija Sevastova
Sevastova has had an amazing tournament so far, but it ends here. Wozniacki is a former finalist here and she is finally playing at a level that seems to have deserted her in the past few years. Out of nowhere, she believes in her game again, and that is making all the difference.
Prediction: Wozniacki in 2
Wozniacki seems to be thriving on having no pressure on her. The former World #1 has already knocked out two seeds, in the form of Madison Keys and Svetlana Kuznetsova, to reach the quarters. Sevastova has also been a surprise package. She only came out of retirement at the start of 2015 and her decision seems to have been vindicated. The Ukrainian has knocked out Johanna Konta and Garbiñe Muguruza, playing some great tennis and not dropping a set along the way. I reckon this will be another close encounter, but I fancy Wozniacki to edge it.
Prediction: Wozniacki in 3
This is an interesting match up between two players who are each enjoying career comeback years. Wozniacki is the more accomplished player of the two having spent numerous weeks at the top of the WTA rankings. Sevestova had a career high ranking of #36, which she reached in 2011. Sevestova retired due to injuries in 2013 but with a healed body she returned to the tour in 2015 and her current ranking is #48. In contrast, Wozniacki has fallen from a career high of #1 to a current ranking of #74. Although Sevestova has not lost a set yet at the tournament she will find Wozniacki a tough opponent that will wear her out with long, extended points.
Prediction: Wozniacki in
Ana Konjuh vs. Karolína Plíšková
Konjuh is playing the breakout tournament of her life, though she seems to have a fair number of those. Konjuh will be a major star someday, and it may as well start now after Venus Williams has been knocked out of her path. Of course Williams’ conquerer, Karolina Pliskova, won’t go down without a fight.
Prediction: Konjuh in 3
Plíšková will have been delighted seeing Konjuh knock out Agnieszka Radwańska. The Czech player has lost all six of her previous meetings with Radwańska and would have had her work cut out in reaching the semi-finals of Flushing Meadows. As it stands Plíšková will definitely fancy her chances against the 18-year-old, Ana Konjuh. That said it won’t be a walk in the park. Konjuh, the first Croatian women to ever reach the quarter-finals at the US Open, powered her way past Radwańska in an impressive display. This match really is 50/50 and extremely difficult to call. Although both players are appearing in their first Grand Slam quarter-final, I think Plíšková will have slightly too much for the young Croat in the end.
Prediction: Plíšková in 3
Konjuh is currently ranked #92 in the WTA rankings just below her career high of #80. An ankle injury at this year’s Wimbledon affected her climb up the rankings. As seen in her match against Radwanska, Konjuh has the ability to change the point by throwing in a drop shot and moving forward or increasing the pace of the ball.
Prediction: Pliskova in 3
Roberta Vinci vs. Angelique Kerber
This match honestly has me pulled in both directions. Kerber wants that World #1 ranking and a chance at a second Slam title this year. Vinci knows that the US Open title got away from her last year and is close to giving herself a chance to go one step further this year. Both are playing very well, and this should be the best match of the round.
Prediction: Vinci in 3
This promises to be a cracker of a match as both players are at the top of their game. Vinci was in great form in the fourth round. Last year’s finalist won in straight sets against what could have been a tricky opponent in Lesia Tsurenko. Kerber is yet to drop a set on her way to the quarter-finals. She had a potential banana skin against two-time Grand Slam champion, Petra Kvitova, but she passed that test with flying colours. The standard will be high, but I see Kerber emerging victorious.
Prediction: Kerber in 3
Last year Vinci pulled off the upset of the tournament when she defeated Serena Williams in the semi-finals. Since then Vinci has maintained a spot in the top of the WTA rankings. Kerber has provided Williams’ biggest challenge at the Majors this year, defeating her in the final of the Australian Open and challenging her in the Wimbledon final. Seeded #2 at the US Open, a Kerber/Williams final is what many are expecting. Vinci, with her low biting backhand slice, could cause trouble for Kerber. Vinci has lots of experience and will vary the speed and spin of her shots which will not allow Kerber to get into a rhythm. Kerber has played a lot of matches this year and has a lot of belief, which should carry her through.
Prediction: Kerber in 3