Panelists Predictions for Australian Open Women’s Day 8 Including Williams-Strycova

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: Serena Williams of the United States plays a forehand in her third round match against Nicole Gibbs of the Unites States on day six of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

(5)Karolina Pliskova vs. (22)Daria Gavrilova

Steen: Pliskova leads Dasha 2-0 in the h2h and has been solid all month (8-0 in 2017). Gavrilova is a great player, but having survived three setters, three straight times, Pliskova is going to be too much I’d imagine. Pliskova in 2 sets

Sam: Karolina Pliskova had looked imperious up until she collided with the talented Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in round three. Pliskova fought her way through, winning 10-8 in the fifth but expended plenty of energy in doing so. That said, Gavrilova also had to come through three sets to progress and this may be the end of the road for Australian interest in the draw. Pliskova’s power will prevail. Pliskova in 2

Yesh: This has been one heck of a tournament for Daria Gavrilova, who is quickly becoming an Australian hero. She’s about to run into the buzzsaw that is Karolina Pliskova, though. Even though Pliskova wasn’t at her best against Ostapenko last round, her overall level this week has been one that I can’t pick against. Pliskova in 2

(Q)Jennifer Brady vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

Steen: Jennifer Brady has won six straight matches to post a career best result. Her reward is a very winnable contest with the experienced Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who is on her second career, formerly being a competitive player in the late 1990’s. Lucic has dropped two sets thus far, but is a survivor, posting a surprising result to make this far as well. This is a tough match to predict, but Lucic’s experience should come into play. Lucic-Baroni in 3

Sam: Two separate but equally heart-warming stories as these two meet in the fourth round. Qualifier Jennifer Brady has now won six matches in a row and surprised everyone with her superb run and aggressive play. Youth may not be a match for experience though as Lucic-Baroni has reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 1999 Wimbledon. This may not be the most obvious highlight but it is bound to be a quality affair with two in-form players. Lucic-Baroni in 3

Yesh: Jennifer Brady vs Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the fourth round of a Slam? It sounds too good to be true, but it is. This magical run will continue for someone, and right now I’m leaning towards the American. Brady in 3

(30)Ekaterina Makarova vs. (9)Jo Konta

Steen: Konta leads the Russian Makarova 3-0 in the h2h and beat her at this stage last year at the AO. Makarova has dropped sets in both of her victories, and nearly blew a set and 4-1 lead to Cibulkova in round 3. Konta by contrast is playing some amazing tennis. British hopes should survive with Konta’s win. Konta in 2

Sam: Despite only bursting onto the WTA scene over the last couple of years, Johanna Konta already boasts an impressive 3-0 record over Makarova. The Russian has looked steady enough but Konta’s play has almost been indescribably good. She made Wozniacki look unbelievably average and a potential quarter-final meeting with Serena Williams is mouth-watering.
Konta in 2  

Yesh: I thought that Wozniacki was in great form, but Konta just blew right by her. The rising Brit looks like she’s playing well enough to win this tournament. Makarova isn’t going to stop her. Konta in 2

(16)Barbora Strycova vs. (2)Serena Williams

Steen: Serena leads the h2h 2-0 and has gotten through three matches without dropping a set. Strycova has accomplished a lot as well, but it’s just hard to see Serena losing to start the second week. Serena in 2

Sam: There were definite question marks over the kind of performances Serena Williams would deliver in the Melbourne sunshine. During the first three rounds she has firmly delivered and looks hugely dangerous. Strycova may have dismantled Carolina Garcia in the last round but Serena Williams will be a far more gruelling task. Williams will win to set up the big clash with Johanna Konta. Serena in 2

Yesh: Serena looks in great form. So does Strycova, but she’s not in the right form to beat the World #2. Serena in 2

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