(1) Serena Williams vs (5) Ana Ivanovic
The match of the tournament thus far will see world number 1 and two-time former champion Serena Williams take on the fifth seeded Ana Ivanovic on Friday night. Serena Williams made a successful return on Wednesday evening, defeating Karoline Pliskova 7-5 6-2. The first set was extremely tight, both ladies served exceptionally well. Pliskova crumbled in the twelfth game, broken to love. From there the Czech’s resistance ended. Ana Ivanovic cruised through her second round match, routing Carol Zhao 6-1 6-1. Ivanovic played a tactically perfect match; she opened the court up extremely well, her forehand was on fire. Ivanovic is playing with a lot of confidence at the moment; she will back herself to defeat Serena Williams for the second time in 2014.
Serena defeated Ana in straight sets in their first 4 meetings. Ana famously defeated Serena at this years Australian Open, coming from a set down to stun the world number 1 4-6 6-3 6-3. Serena avenged her loss to Ana at the Australian Open, with a three set victory over the Serb in the semi-finals in Rome. This is should be another epic match; I expect it to go to three sets. If Ana can serve well I think she is capable of causing an upset here. Ana showed at the Australian Open that she has the game to trouble the world number 1, her ability to step in attack the Serena Williams serve will be key to victory.
Prediction: Ana Ivanovic to Serena Williams in three sets
(8) Andrea Petkovic vs (WC) Venus Williams
Andrea Petkovic and Venus Williams will do battle for a spot in the semi-finals at the Bank of the West Classic. Andrea Petkovic has continued her solid recent form during her first two matches in Stanford. The German easily accounted for both Tomljanovic and Osaka, both in straight sets. Venus Williams has also come through her opening two matches in straight sets. However her second round match against Victoria Azarenka was no walk in the park. Venus outlasted Vika in the opening set, a set that really could have gone either way. Venus failed to serve out the match at 5-3 before Vika saved two match points on her own serve to level the set at 5-5. Venus stepped up in the tiebreak, absolutely belting the ball; Vika couldn't handle the depth of her shots.
Venus Williams has won the only two previous meetings between the two (Andrea won the first via retirement, which doesn't really count), both matches went the distance. Their last match was back in 2012; a lot has changed since then. Although it was a good victory for Venus over Vika, the Belarusian was far from her best and Venus struggled for lengthy periods of the match. I’m predicting the German will be victorious on this occasion; she is on a roll at the moment.
Prediction: Andrea Petkovic to defeat Venus Williams in straight sets
(4) Angelique Kerber vs Garbine Muguruza
The first of the quarter-final matches on Friday will see fourth seed Angelique Kerber do battle with rising star Garbine Muguruza. Angelique Kerber had to wait until Thursday to begin her Bank of the West Classic campaign. The German was nowhere near her best, particularly in the second set, where she played one her worst sets in a long time. Kerber managed to turn things around, defeating Coco Vandeweghe 7-6 0-6 6-2. Garbine Muguruza knocked the defending champion Dominika Cibulkova out in the first round before defeating Daniela Hantuchova 6-4 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals in Stanford. Garbine continues to grow in stature, she is having a great season and will be eyeing off the biggest title of her career in Stanford.
Angelique Kerber defeated Garbine Muguruza in their only previous meeting, a 6-4 7-5 victory in Indian Wells last year. This is going to be a fascinating match. Garbine is extremely powerful off both wings whilst Angie is a great counterpuncher. Angie’s ability to redirect the rallies could trouble Garbine. On the other hand, Angie’s serve is always vulnerable especially against big hitters like Muguruza.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Garbine Muguruza in three sets
I've gone for a few upsets, leave a comment: let me know what you think 🙂
Other Match Predictions:
Varvara Lepchenko to defeat (Q) Sachia Vickery in straight sets