Sabine Lisicki vs Angelique Kerber
Lisicki is a very talented player, but Wimbledon is without a doubt her Slam. She has reached the quarters and the semis the last two times she competed her (she missed the tournament in 2010). Lisicki has had to overcome some very tough injuries in her short career but is really a very impressive player when healthy. She hits the ball hard and really has a very versatile game all over the court. She had two very tough three-set matches against lower players in the early rounds here, but her victory over favorite Maria Sharapova was very, very impressive. If she plays like that again, she will be very tough to beat.
Kerber is another young player who seems to be really coming into her own recently. She has reached the quarterfinals or better in three of the last four Slams now. She has entered the top 10 and has already won 2 tournaments so far this year. She has won all four meetings in the past against her fellow German, but they are both playing well and this looks to be a tight affair. Kerber has yet to drop a set this tournament, but unless Lisicki plays poorly that will probably change here.
Prediction: Kerber in 3
Agnieszka Radwanska vs Maria Kirilenko
For the #3 seed here, Radwanska has been flying very far under the radar here. Part of that is because Radwanska has been dominant, but not overly dominant, against lower-ranked players in all of her matches. Another part is the fact that while she is very consistent and does well at other tournaments, Radwanska has never reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam. She has a great chance to change that here though, as the 5-8 seed in her quarter, Samantha Stosur, is not at all known for doing well on grass.
However, Kirilenko is a pretty tough opponent for Radwanska to face. Kirilenko has been a top 30 player consistently for almost 7 years now (aside from a poor year in 2009) and has built her ranking to the top 20 by being consistent at the bigger tournaments. Success at Slams has eluded her though, but this is still a great run for her. Consistency is a good word to describe her current level of play, actually. She doesn’t go for too much but doesn’t make many mistakes either. She forces her opponents to put the match on their own rackets if they want to win. Radwanska should be able to do that and can win this match without too much trouble as long as she doesn’t let the moment get to her. But if she does, Kirilenko will really make her earn this win.
Prediction: Radwanska in 2
Serena Williams vs Petra Kvitova
Well, this is the blockbuster quarterfinal that a lot of people were hoping for as soon as they saw the draw. This is a matchup of two former Wimbledon champions, including the defending champion in Kvitova, and two of the best and hardest-hitting women’s players in the world today. The two have met twice before, both in Slams in 2010, with Serena winning both in straight sets. However, that was really before Kvitova developed the consistency to go with her huge groundstrokes.
Both Serena and Kvitova have struggled at times so far this tournament. Both can (and have) produced some brilliant tennis, but neither has really shown it for extended periods of time. The only entire match where one of these two played at their peak was Kvitova’s dismantling of Varvara Lepchenko. Kvitova has looked at times like she was letting the pressure get to her, but she seems to handle it well at most times. Ultimately, though, Kvitova has looked better against better competition than Serena has.
Prediction: Kvitova in 3
Tamira Paszek vs Victoria Azarenka
Paszek has reached the quarterfinals here for the second straight year. She had only won two matches this entire year before June, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that based on her play these past two weeks. She has now won 9 straight matches on grass, including a title in Eastbourne. She has a very good and tricky game on grass and is a tough opponent when she plays well. The consistency just hasn’t been there for her all year but she looks to be peaking at the right time.
With Sharapova’s loss in the fourth round, Azarenka can guarantee herself the World #1 ranking if she wins this tournament (Azarenka will also get it as long as Radwanska doesn’t win the title). Azarenka is the current Australian Open champion and has a power game that translates very well to grass. She dismantled Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round, who really didn’t look like she was mentally ready for the big stage again yet. Paszek will not falter the way that Ivanovic did, but I think that Azarenka’s game is just too big for Paszek anyway.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2