Wimbledon 2012: Women’s quarterfinal preview
July 3, 2012 · Print This Article
by: Tom Cochrane
World number one Maria Sharapova is out of this year’s Wimbledon championships, the top seed and reigning French Open champion going down in straight sets to Germany’s Sabine Lisicki.
Day 7 Recap
On another rain-affected day at the All England Club, Lisicki dictated play from the outset against Sharapova, the German’s big serve and booming forehand putting the Russian on the defensive in many of the points. After claiming the first set 6-4, Lisicki held her nerve in the second set and sealed the 6-4 6-3 win with a second serve ace.
Victoria Azarenka is now the highest-seeded player left in the women’s draw, with the Belarusian advancing to the quarter-finals with a dominant 6-1 6-0 victory over Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic. Similarly emphatic victories were obtained by Angelique Kerber, who sent Kim Clijsters packing in her last Wimbledon, and Agnieszka Radwanska, who enjoyed a very comfortable victory over the unheralded Camila Giorgi.
Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova, by contrast, were forced to fight hard to earn their spots in the final 8, with Williams taking down Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5 in the third set, and Kvitova coming back from a set down to beat Francesca Schiavone in 3 sets.
On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic accounted for his Serbian compatriot Viktor Troicki without too much trouble, claiming a straight sets victory, while third seed Roger Federer overcame some back problems to dispose of Xavier Malisse in 4 sets. Federer will now play Mikhail Youzhny for a spot in the semi-finals after the Russian wore down Denis Istomin in a gruelling 5-setter.
Several of the men’s matches will resume today after being suspended on Day 7. Andy Murray leads Marin Cilic by a set and a break, while Mardy Fish claimed the first set from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before play was abandoned for the day.
Match of the Day – Day 8
1. David Ferrer vs. Juan Martin Del Potro
It’s been a fine tournament for the older breed of players, with Federer, Malisse, Youzhny, Fish and of course Ferrer all making runs into the second week of the tournament. Ferrer seems to be getting better with age, seemingly not losing any pace and remaining as motivated as ever to do well.
Del Potro has never excelled in this tournament, but the Argentine undoubtedly has the game to do so. Del Potro was impressive in defeating Kei Nishikori, a good grass-court player, in straight sets on Saturday, and he has the power game to blow Ferrer off the court. I’ll back Del Potro to do so, although if he’s even slightly off his game Ferrer will take full advantage. Del Potro in 5.
2. Serena Williams vs. Petra Kvitova
To my mind, this is the best match of the women’s tournament to date, and it’s also a match that could very well decide who ends up lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish as ladies’ champion on Saturday. Kvitova first announced herself as a player to watch by making a run to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2010, where she went down to the eventual champion Williams. The Czech then went on to win the tournament last year as Williams, on her way back from a long lay-off, crashed out to Marion Bartoli.
Kvitova has coasted through most of her early matches, although she was pushed by Schiavone in her last match. Williams, on the other hand, has struggled through almost all of her matches, having to endure long 3-setters against Jie Zheng and Yaroslava Shvedova for example. After early exits in Melbourne and Paris, Williams wants this title badly, and although she will need to step up her form in order to do so, I think that’s something the 13-time major winner is more than capable of doing. Williams in 3.
3. Sabine Lisicki vs. Angelique Kerber
Fresh from big wins over Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters respectively, who out of Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber will be able to move on most quickly and refocus on this quarter-final clash? This all-German affair will feature plenty of hard-hitting as both players like to be aggressive and dictate the play.
Lisicki has now made the quarter-finals, semi-finals and quarter-finals in her last 3 Wimbledon appearances, so it’s clear she is very comfortable at the All England Club, while Kerber has established herself as a top 10 player after a breakout run at Flushing Meadows last year and a very solid season so far in 2012. On any other surface I’d give Kerber the edge, but on the grass I think Lisicki might scrape through. Lisicki in 3.
4. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Maria Kirilenko
Seeded third for the women’s championship, Agnieszka Radwanska never gets much attention but the Pole has worked her way into the quarter-finals with ruthless efficiency. Radwanska has had a superb season to date on the WTA Tour – among the women, I’d rank her year so far as being behind only those enjoyed by Azarenka and Sharapova.
Seventeenth seed Maria Kirilenko is a very solid player who often plays her best tennis against higher-ranked opponents. Like Radwanska, the Russian has quietly worked her way through to the final 8, but I think Kirilenko will struggle to match the Pole’s excellent court coverage and her ultra-consistent form from the back of the court. Radwanska in 3.
5. Victoria Azarenka vs. Tamira Paszek
Tamira Paszek clearly has an affinity with the All England Club, having now made back-to-back quarter-finals in 2011 and 2012, as well as a round of 16 appearance on her 2007 debut. Paszek upset seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki in the first round, and has continued to play a high standard of tennis in the subsequent rounds.
Azarenka is looking to reassert herself as the top player on the WTA Tour after Sharapova’s triumph in Paris saw the Russian steal the spotlight and the world number one ranking. Paszek is tough to play on grass, but Azarenka was spectacular against Ivanovic and so has to be the clear favourite. Azarenka in 2.
That’s it for today. Enjoy the tennis and I’ll be back with another serve tomorrow.