Day 4 brought a couple of surprise moments, most notably the ousting of defending champion Kiki Bertens. Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki had to play through tough three-set matches to make their way into the quarterfinals. Relative unknown Jessica Pegula nearly reached her first WTA quarterfinal. But Petra Martic found her way to a win.
So, now who will we see reach the semis?
WTA Charleston Quarterfinal Predictions
Belinda Bencic vs Petra Martic
Head to head: No history
Petra Martic is enjoying a solid run in Charleston–in spite of her true weapon, the serve, going askew for lengthy periods. Martic keeps finding the way to the win, even when pushed to three sets. Now the Croat finds herself in her first quarterfinal of 2019. I’d give her a fighting chance against anyone other than Belinda Bencic. The Swiss has yet to drop a set in Charleston, showing why she’s one of the hottest players on tour. Not much is going wrong with the Bencic game right now, and it would be unwise to bet against her.
Prediction: Bencic in 2
Monica Puig vs Danielle Collins
Head to head: Puig 1-1 Collins
Looks like the hard-hitting American is continuing her stellar start to 2019. Danielle Collins has reached the quarterfinals in Charleston in her maiden appearance. Moving through her draw, Collins hasn’t dropped a set yet. In the third round, Kaia Kanepi pushed her close to a first set loss, forcing a tiebreak. But the Virginia alum quickly claimed it, allowing Kanepi just one point. The second set was a routine Danielle Collins victory. However, no easy outing is in store when she faces off against Monica Puig.
The former Olympic Gold Medalist is breaking through her slump, regaining her form. And, it showed in her straight sets win over the number three seed Aryna Sabalenka. Perhaps Puig’s biggest weapon is her return of serve. Strong, solid, with a good read on the ball, she’s creating break point opportunities in every set. If she was unbothered by Sabalenka’s power and pace, Collins’ power certainly won’t faze the Puerto Rican. I think there’ll be more than a few momentum shifts. But if she brings her A Game, Puig should take it in three.
Prediction: Puig in 3
Maria Sakkari vs Caroline Wozniacki
Head to head: Sakkari 1-0 Wozniacki
After surviving a tight tiebreak to take the first set, Maria Sakkari played with the confidence of someone on a quest to a title. Defending Charleston champion Kiki Bertens went down in straight sets against Sakkari’s fearless ball striking. And, now here she is in the quarterfinals facing Caroline Wozniacki. Sakkari should be feeling pretty confident, holding a straight sets win over Wozniacki in their head to head.
Wozniacki’s win against Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu was anything but straightforward. It took three sets comprised of contentious games before the Dane came through. Sakkari has to be feeling good, believing that this tournament is hers. I think we’re seeing the start of something great for Sakkari.
Prediction: Sakkari in 3
Madison Keys vs Sloane Stephens
Head to head: Keys 0-3 Stephens
The Americans have done battle before, always ending in Sloane Stephens’ favor. However, Stephens’ path has been anything but easy. Opening her run against Sara Sorribes Tormo required nearly two hours and two tiebreak sets. And it looked like Sloane would be exited courtesy of Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, but something reignited the fighter we’ve always known Stephens to be. After dropping the first set, Stephens put her head down and got to work, finally finding a way through Tomjlianovic’s lightning fast, clean hitting. And, she did it while exuding positivity, even when Tomjlianovic found success in the most impossible of shots. It seems as though a switch has flipped and the former Slam champion version of Stephens has returned.
Madison Keys hasn’t looked as sharp as you’d expect. The #8 seed struggled against the unconventional Tatjana Maria in her opening match. Yet she fought through to a win. Both her nerves and her game improved when she faced Jelena Ostapenko, finding her win in straight sets. To move on to the semis, Keys will have to eliminate Charleston’s 2017 titleholder. Is it a rivalry? Well, you really can’t call it a that when Sloane Stephens has handily won each of their three meetings. In fact, Keys has never claimed more than four games in a set against her compatriot. Anticipate a straight sets win for Stephens.
Prediction: Stephens in 2