(3) Caroline Wozniacki vs (10) Flavia Pennetta
Thursday’s fourth and final quarter-final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships sees former champion: Caroline Wozniacki take on Flavia Pennetta.
After a disappointing second round exit at the Australian Open, Caroline Wozniacki has bounced back well in Dubai. The third seed received a bye through to the second round before just sneaking past Sam Stosur 4-6 6-1 7-5. Caroline suffered from dizziness and a knee complaint but still managed to find an extra gear to grind her way into the third round.
Wozniacki backed up her victory over Stosur with a surprisingly comfortable 6-4 6-0 win over a wayward Alize Cornet. Cornet started off well enough to take a 4-2 lead but from there it was all Wozniacki. The Dane won 10 consecutive games, cruising into the quarter-finals. Wozniacki hit a miserly 5 winners but it was all she needed given Cornet hit a whopping 37 unforced errors. Caro will need to play much better on Thursday if she is to defeat the always tricky, Flavia Pennetta.
Flavia Pennetta has quietly made her way through to the quarter-finals in Dubai. The Italian came extremely close to a first round exit, saving four match points on route to her 2-6 7-6 6-4 victory over Julia Goerges. Pennetta backed up that victory with a relatively comfortable 6-3 7-5 win over Qiang Wang.
Flavia’s best result came in the third round where she fought past Angelique Kerber, prevailing 6-2 3-6 6-1. Flavia proved to be too strong for the wayward German whose early season woes continue.
Caroline Wozniacki has a totally dominant 7-1 head to head record over Flavia Pennetta. However Caroline hasn’t had things all her own way in the majority of their matches, four of their seven completed matches have gone the distance. Their most recent encounter took place in Tokyo back in 2013, Caroline comfortably coming out on top 6-2 6-3.
This promises to be an extremely tight match, despite the lopsided head to head record. There is no doubt that Flavia has the game to really push Caroline, however her ability to sustain a high level for long enough is very questionable. Caroline’s superior consistency will get her over the line.
Prediction: Caroline Wozniacki to defeat Flavia Pennetta in 3 sets