The quarterfinal matches at the Mallorca Open will see red-hot Belinda Bencic, teen phenom Amanda Anisimova, top seed Angelique Kerber and inaugural Mallorca Open champion Caroline Garcia looking for their spot in the semis. Finals fixture Anastasija Sevastova will be looking to earn her fourth visit, while Wang Yafan looks to eliminate the Sevastova threat. Top seed Angelique Kerber, fresh off her win over former World #1 Maria Sharapova, squares off against the inaugural titleholder Caroline Garcia.
In the fourth edition of the Mallorca Open, some top tier talent is jockeying for the title. These are must watch quarterfinal matches where anything’s possible. Let’s take a look at who’s likely to clinch the win.
Mallorca Open Quarterfinal Predictions
Belinda Bencic vs Amanda Anisimova
Head to head: No history
Belinda Bencic made her way into the quarterfinals when Shelby Rogers retired with a shoulder injury. Perhaps this was the ideal match for Bencic to prepare for her quarterfinal bout against Amanda Anisimova. On Friday, the Swiss will see more of the power play which seem to come so easy to Americans. Most important for Bencic, she cannot afford to squander a lead as she did with Rogers. Leading 5-1 in the first set, Bencic went on to lose the opener 5-7. Claiming an immediate break in the second set, the Swiss began to find her mark and the errors mounted off the Rogers racket.
It’s worth noting that Bencic will be playing the doubles semifinal Friday as well as the singles quarterfinal. A demanding schedule for sure, but the 22-year-old Swiss should have more than enough reserve to negate the fatigue factor.
Amanda Anisimova seems to have learned from her shaky first round match. Playing in her first grass court tournament, the teenager is understanding the surface as evidenced by eliminating Alize Cornet in straight sets. Easy power and skillful redirection will provide a challenge for Bencic. The young American will create frustration in the Swiss’ game – which may prove her undoing.
Prediction: Anisimova in 3
Wang Yafan vs Anastasija Sevastova
Head to head: No history
Wang Yafan is an unlikely quarterfinalist. The Chinese’s clay court season was rather dismal and has taken its toll on her confidence. Wang is not considered a threat on the grass courts, having won only 50% of matches on this surface. Yet, Wang’s second round win was impressive. She bested Belgian’s Alison Van Uytvanck in straight sets. But, as Wang’s confidence builds, so does the caliber of her opponent.
Anastasija Sevastova in nothing short of a fixture in Mallorca. Since the tournament’s inception, Sevastova has appeared in every final. Seems the Latvian turns in her best performances on this island. And, it will be hard to bet against her. In form, returning exceptionally well and winning nearly 90% of her second service points put her on point for her fourth trip to the finals.
Prediction: Sevastova in 2
Angelique Kerber vs Caroline Garcia
Head to head: Kerber 5-2 Garcia
Angelique Kerber is the #1 seed, and with good reason. The German rifled off solid groundstrokes off both wings in her Round of 16 win over returning superstar Maria Sharapova. Kerber played well but her win was certainly helped by Sharapova’s error laden play. Kerber’s backhand down the line is perhaps one of the best shots on the WTA tour. She’ll want to keep that weapon at the ready when she meets Caroline Garcia for a place in the semifinals. Kerber will be looking for her first title in Mallorca, but will need to exit the inaugural titleholder to do so.
Caroline Garcia needed three sets to gain her quarterfinal berth. The Frenchwoman’s win was anything but straightforward as Spain’s rising star Paula Badosa Gibert took the second set in a tiebreak 7-1. The #6 seed hasn’t had an easy draw with her matches in Mallorca requiring three sets to decide. Garcia will need to up her first serve percentage against the top seed. Kerber has been returning well, claiming eight breaks of serve in her previous two matches. Any deficiency in the Garcia serve will grow Kerber’s already laudable service break stat.
Prediction: Kerber in 3
Sofia Kenin vs Elise Mertens
Head to head: No history
Sofia Kenin has looked impressive – ever since she ousted Serena Williams at the French Open. The American is putting all of the pieces together and is now in good position to achieve her second career title. I must say, her chances look quite good – at least in the quarterfinals. An 85% first serve points won, no breaks of serve and plenty of pace on her well-placed shots. We’ve seen Kenin’s tenacity, her ability to motivate herself and remain fearless against the strongest opponents. And, Elise Mertens is definitely a strong opponent.
It’s Merten’s 13 double faults which cause for concern. Add to that a few questionable shots and a troubling second serve. It’s a recipe for disaster as Kenin will punish those deficiencies. If Mertens is able to clean up her errant play, this will be a contentious match. And, it’s a plus that the Belgian continues to craft wins, while not playing her best. In fact, she hasn’t dropped a set yet in this tournament.
Mertens, part of the top seeded doubles team, has spent a lot of time on court. On the other hand, Kenin spent merely 38 minutes on court in the second round, with a 6-2 2-0 lead before Ons Jabeur retired on injury. You’ll have a well-rested Kenin versus a potentially fatigued Mertens. All things considered, Kenin should come through in two tight sets.
Prediction: Kenin in 2
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