QF #1: (15) 🇺🇦 Elina Svitolina vs (11) 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova
Elina Svitolina caused the biggest upset of the tournament on Tuesday evening when she eliminated the tournament favourite Serena Williams with a 6-4 6-3 victory. The Ukrainian’s win over Serena was arguably the biggest win of her career but she will have little time to celebrate as she will have less than 24 hours to prepare for a clash with Petra Kvitova.
Petra Kvitova looked down and out in her third round clash with Ekaterina Makarova, the Czech managed to fight from a set and a break down to record a memorable 4-6 6-4 6-4 victory.
Kvitova holds a 2-1 head to-head record over Svitolina. The Czech has won the two most recent matches between the pair: a 6-3 7-5 win in Wuhan in 2014 and a 2-6 6-3 6-2 win in Dubai last year.
I suspect Kvitova will once again get the better of Svitolina on this occasion. The match is almost totally on Petra’s racquet, now that the draw has opened up and at this stage of the event I think Petra will be motivated to perform well and therefore should overpower Svitolina here. Petra is very experienced at representing her country, Petra has arguably been the best Fed Cup performer over the last several years and this could be the time for that success to translate into Olympic success.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Elina Svitolina in 3 sets
QF #2: 🇵🇷 Monica Puig vs 🇩🇪 Laura Siegemund
The most unexpected quarter-final match-up sees Monica Puig come up against Laura Siegemund, the only quarter-final match-up which features two unseeded players.
Monica Puig has arguably been the form player of the tournament. The Puerto Rican has advanced to the quarter-final stage in her first Olympic campaign without dropping a set. Puig claimed comfortable straight set wins over Polona Hercog and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to begin her Rio campaign before producing her best performance of the tournament thus far in the third round where she thumped Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-1.
Laura Siegemund has also defied the odds to reach the quarter-final stage of her first Olympic campaign. The German did well to even reach Rio and is now making the most of her opportunity. Siegemund has benefited from a very favourable draw, claiming wins over Tsvetana Pironkova, Shuai Zhang and Kirsten Flipkens to reach the quarter-final stage.
This will be the first ever meetings between Puig and Siegemund, two feisty competitors. The slow surface in Rio suits both ladies and they seem pretty evenly matched heading into this clash. Puig’s form is more impressive given she has beaten more established players and Puig’s best is better than Siegemund’s so I think Puig has the slight edge here.
Prediction: Monica Puig to defeat Laura Siegemund in 3 sets
QF #3: (7) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina
Madison Keys and Daria Kasatkina are two of the most promising young talents on the tour, the pair will go head-to-head at the quarter-final stage of their first Olympic campaigns on Wednesday.
Madison Keys has taken the tough route to the quarter-final stage, the American has twice been pushed to a third set after a straight set win over Kovinic in the first round. Keys overcame Mladenovic in a 3-hour battle before booking her spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over Carla Suarez Navarro.
Daria Kasatkina made a slow start in Rio, just sneaking past Ons Jabeur in the first round. The Russian has raised her level in her last couple of matches as she claimed straight set wins over Saisai Zheng and Sara Errani.
Madison’s biggest concern heading into this match could be fatigue given she will be playing for a third day in a row and is coming off two tough three setters. Luckily Keys isn’t the type of player that needs to do a lot of running, Madison is playing with a lot of confidence and belief at the moment and should probably be a bit too good for Kasatkina on this occasion.
Prediction: Madison Keys to defeat Daria Kasatkina in 3 sets
QF #4: (2) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs (10) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta
Angelique Kerber and Johanna Konta have been two of the form players in season 2016, the pair will go head-to-head for the first time since their semi-final clash at the Australian Open earlier this year when they met at the quarter-final stage in Rio.
Kerber has breezed through to the quarter-final stage without dropping a set. The German has claimed straight set wins over Mariana Duque-Marino, Eugenie Bouchard and finally confirmed her spot in the final 8 with a 6-0 7-5 win over Sam Stosur.
Johanna Konta started her first Olympic campaign with straight set victories over Stephanie Vogt and Caroline Garcia. Konta’s first big test came at the third round stage where she was forced to work extremely hard for a 3-6 7-5 7-5 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Kerber won the only previous match between the pair, a 7-5 6-2 win at the semi-final stage of the Australian Open earlier this year. I suspect there will be a similar result on Wednesday, Kerber is the fresher player heading into this match and the slow surface probably suits Kerber in this match-up. Konta will find it hard to hit through the German who is looking good in Rio.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Johanna Konta in 2 sets