Panelists Predictions Australian Open Women’s Day 5–Including Bouchard/Vandeweghe

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Day 4 of the Australian Open was an absolute whopper, with losses by Novak Djokovic and Agniezska Radwanska headlining the day. What does Day 5 have in store? Our panelists are here to predict five of the day’s biggest matches, including Eugenie Bouchard against Coco Vandeweghe. Our panelists today are myself (Yesh Ginsburg), editor Steen Kirby, and writers Jeff Crady and Jacob Billings.

Panelists Predictions Australian Open Women’s Day 5

Alison Riske vs Sorana Cirstea

Jeff:
Allison Riske and Sorana Cirstea are both having great starts to their 2017 as they both seek to climb back into tour relevancy. Riske has been using her compact groundstrokes to take away time from her opponents and Cirstea has found the power and accuracy that took her far several years ago. Cirstea’s nerves hold a little better and wins in three sets.
Prediction: Cirstea in 3

Jacob:
Riske was playing amazing against Shuai Zhang, and that was a match that she definitely could have lost, and went down to the wire in the first two sets. She showed great mental toughness, which is something the American lacked in earlier seasons. However, Cirstea is coming off of her biggest win since she beat No. 7 Errani in 2014. That win must be taken with a grain of salt, since Suarez Navarro was carrying an injury. Riske is the favorite and I think she’ll get through in close straight sets.
Prediction: Riske in 2

Steen:
Cirstea hasn’t had an easy road, but she leads the H2H 2-1 on hard courts, and is the better player. I’ll go with the non-American player.
Prediction: Cirstea in 3

Yesh:
Like I said last round, I am a big fan of Cirstea and her potential. Riske might be the favorite in this match, but I think this will be Cirstea’s breakthrough and Riske isn’t the player to stop her.
Prediction: Cirstea in 3

Elina Svitolina vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Jeff:
Pavlyuchenkova vs Svitolina is a matchup of two of the hottest women on tour as both have had great runs over the last six months. Pavs’ power proves too much for the nimble Svitolina and she takes the match in straight sets.
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 2

Jacob:
Svitolina was my pick for the final before the tournament and that hasn’t really changed for me. She is yet to lose a set, but also yet to face quality opposition. Pavlyuchenkova should bring that and then some, she has also been blessed with a cake draw. Pavs leads the head-to-head 2-1, but Svitolina won their last meeting and only match in 2016. For me, she is the favorite but it won’t be easy.
Prediction: Svitolina in 3

Steen:
Normally I’d say watch out for Pavs as an upset pick, but Svitolina is playing too well to get tripped up.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2

Yesh:
Svitolina has just been getting better and better since beating Serena Williams at the Olympics last year. She is rapidly becoming a major force in women’s tennis.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2

Jelena Jankovic vs Svetlana Kuznetsova

Jeff:
Jankovic and Kuznetsova provides tennis Twitter with a dream match-up. Differing styles, engaging personalities, and fiery competitors, this match could be the best of the day. Although Jankovic has been playing much better the last half of 2016 and into 2017, Kuznetsova has too much guile and power for her and wins in three sets.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 3

Jacob:
This is where I predict the upset to happen. Yes, Kuznetsova lost only four games in her first two matches, but she hasn’t faced a Top 100 player yet. Meanwhile Jankovic has been grinding out wins over Siegemund and Goerges, which actually might help her against Kuznetsova. Their head-to-head is 6-6, so this will be the 13th match of their epic rivalry. Jankovic has won the last two matches, but is losing the rivalry on hard courts 3-4. I think Jankovic can really push Kuznetsova, and get the win.
Prediction: Jankovic in 3

Steen:
A close H2H between spirited veterans who won’t give up easily. This one has three sets written all over it, and I think Kuznetsova is a little fresher and more motivated.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 3

Yesh:
As much as I like how Jankovic is playing right now, Kuznetsova has been absolutely unbeatable this tournament. If her form continues, no one will beat her.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 2

Angelique Kerber vs Krystina Pliskova

Jeff:
In a normal slam we always pick the #1 player in the world, but Kerber has shown that one can be #1 with still having a few chinks in the armor; however, she has also shown that her determination to win and get every ball back can help hide those weaknesses. The other Pliskova is hitting hard and confidently, but Kerber will have enough answers to win in three sets.
Prediction: Kerber in 3

Jacob:
Kerber’s title defense is not looking too good, as she has already dropped sets to Tsurenko and Witthoeft, and I don’t think she will manage to even make the final. I think she will drop another set to Kristyna Pliskova. The less famous of the twins is serving incredibly in 2017 so far, is No. 3 in total aces for this year, and averages 9 aces per match which earned her second place in that category. However, playing Kerber takes away her leftie advantage, and I think even if she continues in her current form, Kerber will go through.
Prediction: Kerber in 3

Steen:
Two sets dropped through two matches isn’t inspiring a lot of confidence in Kerber. However, the German is still the defending champion, and if she can overcome her nerves, she’ll win her first match in straights.
Prediction: Kerber in 2

Yesh:
Kerber is against the wrong Pliskova here if we’re expecting an amazing match. The World #1 hasn’t looked great this tournament, but she’s had time to round into form.
Prediction: Kerber in 2

Coco Vandeweghe vs Eugenie Bouchard

Jeff:
Bouchard vs Vandaweghe provides an interesting matchup between two of the more polarizing personalities on the WTA tour–both are looking to have big 2017s after less than stellar 2016s. Both have looked solid and confident thus far, but Bouchard’s experience in the big moment forces Coco into too many unforced errors.
Prediction: Bouchard in 2

Jacob:
he Canadian leads the head-to-head thanks to her 6-3 6-2 win in Indian Wells, but Vandeweghe is the favorite for me. Her win over Vinci really means a lot, and she got past Parmentier in straight sets despite not playing all that well. Bouchard is continuing on her good form from Sydney, and is also yet to lose a set. I expect a three set drama with a lot of racquet smashes from whoever will play worse, and that’s what it will come down to on a match like this; who has a better day.
Prediction: Vandeweghe in 3

Steen:
Both players are doing well at the moment, and it’s a shame one of them has to go home. Bouchard has more potential though, when focused she’s the better player, and she looks focused right now.
Prediction: Bouchard in 2

Yesh:
This should be the gem of the day. Two talented, evenly-matched players who have had some struggles but are currently in good form will battle it out to open the day of action on Rod Laver Arena. Give me the American by a hair in a great match full of big shots and maybe a bit of nerves.
Prediction: Vandeweghe in 3

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