US Open 2017 Day 7 Preview: Muguruza vs. Kvitova

published: Sep, 03, 2017

by: Ben Stevens

Even on a day largely devoid of upsets, the heart attacks continue at the US Open.

Finishing at close to two o’clock in the morning, Saturday was another perfect advertisement for grand slam tennis, in a tournament that has been full of them.

With three setters for Karolina Pliskova (with a match point saved), CoCo Vandeweghe (in three hours) and Madison Keys, and four sets for Rafael Nadal, Saturday was full of barnburners. Naturally, Roger Federer had to ruin it and go have a normal match, but you can’t have everything!

What does day 7 have in store? Read on to find out.

Lucas Pouille (FRA) [16] vs Diego Schwartzman (ARG) [29] – 2nd on Grandstand

A match between two up-and-comers with a propensity for wearing their hats backward, somewhere, Lleyton Hewitt is smiling. Fashion aside, this should be a fun one, as both men will force the other to clock up the mileage with plenty of side-to-side exchanges. The more offensive minded of the two, Pouille should be able to take charge of this encounter more than their previous one – a 2013 win for Schwartzman on clay in the Bastad qualifiers – but as we’ve seen already this tournament, the diminutive Argentine knows how to absorb and redirect aggression better than most. Forget the difference in seedings, this is as likely to end in five as it is in three, with mental toughness sure to play its part.

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs Venus Williams (USA) [9] – 3rd on Arthur Ashe

Amidst all the upsets, it’s been something of a quiet open for Venus Williams – but that ends now. The first in what promises to be a string of tough opponents, Suarez Navarro has an interesting history with Williams, having announced first herself on the major stage with a win over her at the 2009 AO, and while Venus now leads the head-to-head 4-3, the Spaniard will know she can cause trouble. Despite their massive stylistic and size differences, both women are loathe to cede space at the baseline, and that lends itself to plenty of entertaining, offensive-minded rallies. Still, with her superior power the match is definitely on Venus’ racquet, but don’t be surprised if she’s made to work for it.

Petra Kvitova (CZE) [13] vs Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [3] – 1st on Arthur Ashe, Night Session

Male or female, no player comes into the fourth round with more momentum than Garbine Muguruza, and boy will she need it. Leading their head-to-head 2-1, Kvitova has every reason to feel confident against the Spaniard, having not lost to her in nearly two years, and demonstrating in her third round obliteration of Caroline Garcia her own stellar form. The Czech is one of the few players on tour that can handle the raw pace of Muguruza’s hitting, and with her superior serving, that tends to keep pressure on the Spaniard. Of course, the way Muguruza has been running through everyone lately, she’ll come in with plenty of confidence – whether it’s enough, we can only wait and see.

Ben Stevens

Contributor to TennisConnected. Long time player, coach and fan. Still waiting on Mark Philippoussis to break through at a major.

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