Stanford QF: Varvara Lepchenko vs Mona Barthel
Surprise quarter-finalists Varvara Lepchenko and Mona Barthel will go head to head for a place in the semi-finals at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. Both ladies will feel like this is a massive opportunity to reach the semifinals of a premier level event.
After reaching the semi-finals in Stanford last year, Varvara Lepchenko has continued her impressive record at the Bank of the West Classic. The American entered this event on the back of 6 straight defeats but has really turned things around. Lepchenko survived an extremely tight opening round battle with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, before picking up her first top 10 victory of the year with a 6-4 6-2 triumph over an injury hampered Caroline Wozniacki.
Mona Barthel has kicked off her 2015 U.S Open series in style, advancing to the quarter-finals in Stanford with an extremely hard-fought 5-7 6-2 7-6 victory over compatriot Andrea Petkovic. Barthel played superb tennis in the final set tiebreaker, outlasting Petkovic in a gruelling encounter. Mona’s victory over Petkovic was arguably her greatest win this year, her only other major win came against Eugenie Bouchard in Antwerp.
Lepchenko and Barthel have met on two previous occasions, the head to head record is split at one win apiece. Their most recent encounter took place at last year’s U.S Open, Lepchenko recorded a comfortable 6-4 6-0 second round victory.
This is another tough match to call, both Mona and Varvara are very inconsistent, anything could happen in this one. Nerves could become a real factor, whoever is able to handle the occasion better will be in the drivers seat. I have to give the slight edge to Lepchenko courtesy of her strong recent performances in Stanford.
Prediction: Varvara Lepchenko to defeat Mona Barthel in 3 sets