??‼️ J&T Banka Ostrava Open – QF thoughts
QF #1: Maria Sakkari vs. Ons Jabeur
Two of the form players since the tour restart will go head-to-head in the first quarter-final of the day in Ostrava when Maria Sakkari takes on Ons Jabeur. Sakkari and Jabeur have moved into the final 8 in impressive fashion with a pair of straight set victories over decent opposition. Sakkari defeated Kristyna Pliskova and Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3, whilst Jabeur beat Barbora Strycova 6-2 6-2 followed by a 6-4 6-4 win over Jelena Ostapenko. Sakkari’s dominant win over Svitolina in the second round was especially impressive, the way she dominated the top seed was worth taking note of. I expect Sakkari to get the better of Jabeur. Sakkari is the better player, Sakkari can match the power of Jabeur and can deal with the versatility of Jabeur. Sakkari serve is more reliable. Sakkari is more consistent and has the greater stamina and patience in longer exchanges. On a slow surface, Sakkari has all she needs to win this one.
Prediction: Maria Sakkari to defeat Ons Jabeur in 2 sets
QF #2: (4) Victoria Azarenka vs. (7) Elise Mertens
Friday’s second quarter-final in Ostrava features the only all seeded match-up of the day when the 4th seeded Victoria Azarenka takes on the 7th seeded Elise Mertens. Azarenka received a bye through the first round before defeating Barbora Krejcikova 2-6 6-2 6-1. Meanwhile, Mertens cruised past a fair of tough opponents, a 6-2 6-3 win over Amanda Anisimova, followed by a 6-4 6-2 win over Karolina Muchova. Azarenka thrashed Mertens 6-1 6-0 at the US Open last month, expect a far different result here. The slower surface in Ostrava favours Mertens in this match-up. Azarenka won’t be able to hit through Mertens on this occasion, it will be a grind. Mertens is playing better tennis this week and looks set for revenge over the Belarusian.