WTA Toronto Rogers Cup Day 4 Predictions Including Serena Williams vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Naomi Osaka Rogers Cup

Day four at the Rogers Cup in Toronto will see the remaining 16 women battle for a place in the quarterfinals with the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens all set to be in action in the top half of the draw. There is no shortage of star power in the bottom half of the draw either, as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep are all ready to take to the court. But who will reach the last eight?

Toronto Rogers Cup Day Four Predictions

Serena Williams vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova has had an excellent week so far at the Rogers Cup, racing through the qualifying without dropping a set before dispatching Misaki Doi 6-2 6-2 and Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-3 to reach the last 16. But now she faces a massive test in the form of 23-time Major champion Williams. The great American returned to action for the first-time since losing to Halep in the Wimbledon final in the second round, dismissing Elise Mertens 6-3 6-3.

Williams told media at the start of the week that she was playing pain free and that suggests that she is ready to do serious damage in Canada. Her serve remains one of the very best in the women’s game, an almost unanswerable weapon, and she can also hurt opponents off both wings from the ground. Alexandrova has a handy serve herself and has been returning well. But she has not played an opponent of anything like Williams’ quality. Expect this one to be fairly routine for the eighth seed.

Prediction: Williams in 2
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Simona Halep vs Svetlana Kuznetsova

Head-to-head: Halep 4-3 Kuznetsova

After narrowly beating the USA’s Jennifer Brady in a three-set thriller, Wimbledon champion Halep’s task will get no easier in the second round as she faces Russian veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova, now 34, may not be the Grand Slam winning force of old, but she has been playing fine tennis this week. In the first round, she proved far too strong for Wang Xiyu, beating the Chinese 6-4 6-2, before ousting the in-form Donna Vekic 7-6 6-3.

Both women are exceptionally clean ball strikers, which allows them to compensate for their lack of outright power compared with some of their colleagues on the tour. Halep, in particular, excels at taking the ball on the rise and spreads the court superbly with her forehand. Her serve can, however, be something of a weakness. But after shaking off the rust against Brady, Halep, who is the defending champion at the Rogers Cup, should have enough to see off the challenge of Kuznetsova, though it will be a real challenge.

Prediction: Halep in 3
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Marie Bouzkova vs Jelena Ostapenko

Head-to-head: first meeting

In this battle of the young guns, former-French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko will take on the in-form Marie Bouzkova. The Czech, who came through the qualifying, has yet to drop a set after stunning seventh seed and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-2 7-5 in the second round. Ostapenko has also been playing some excellent tennis, beating Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-3 before battling past Anastasija Pavlyuchenkova. This looks set to be a close battle, but where Ostapenko may just be able to carve out a decisive advantage is with her greater power off the ground. Bouzkova, for all her quality, cannot match it.

Prediction: Ostapenko in 3
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Naomi Osaka vs Iga Swiatek

Head-to-head: first meeting

After a difficult period on the clay and grass courts of Europe, world #3 Osaka made a winning return to the hard courts of North America when her opponent Tatjana Maria was forced to retire trailing 2-6. That match understandably did not reveal much about where Osaka’s game is at, but the Japanese will surely be glad to have put a match in the win column after first-round exits at the Birmingham Classic and the All England Club last month.

The Polish teenager Iga Swiatek, meanwhile, has put together another excellent run, coming through the qualifying, where she beat Shelby Rogers and Heather Watson, both in straight sets, to reach the main draw. She then advanced to the second round courtesy of Ajla Tomljanovic’s retirement after five games before battling past Caroline Wozniacki in three sets. But as impressive as that performance was, Osaka has the power to hit through the Pole. Expect her to do just that.

Prediction: Osaka in 2

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1 COMMENT

  1. You got three out of four correctly, and you will do the same again in your quarter-finals match prediction. Osaka will beat Williams.

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