Zhuhai Day 4 Match Previews & Predictions
Venus Williams, Karolina Pliskova and Roberta Vinci secured semi-final births on day 3, the final semi-finalist will be confirmed on the final day of group stage action on Friday. Elina Svitolina and Carla Suarez Navarro will battle for the final position, the winner will progress to the final 4. Roberta Vinci advanced to the semi-finals courtesy of Caroline Wozniacki retiring against Kuznetsova and withdrawing from the event, essentially eliminating the Russian from the event.
Group B: (2) Carla Suarez Navarro vs (8) Elina Svitolina
Friday’s most intriguing match sees Carla Suarez Navarro and Elina Svitolina go head-to-head for a spot in the semi-finals. Carla and Elina both pick up victories over Andrea Petkovic, the winner of this match will finish on top of Group B and progress to the semi-final stage.
Carla Suarez Navarro routed a wounded Andrea Petkovic 6-0 6-0 in her opening group stage match in Zhuhai. Petkovic was not competitive, offering little to no resistance. Nevertheless, Carla was seemingly playing at a pretty reasonable level.
Elina Svitolina started the week with a 7-6 6-3 victory over Andrea Petkovic. The German was certainly much more competitive in this match, offering much more resistance. Svitolina’s form during the Asian Swing was poor but she seems to be in a better place this week and will be keen to make an impact in Zhuhai, this is a good opportunity for Elina.
The head-to-head record between Carla and Elina is split at 1 win apiece, Elina won their most recent clash 4-6 6-4 6-4 in Cincinnati last year. This should be a good match with both ladies desperate to win, I like Elina’s chances here. Carla and Elina are both great grinders from the baseline, but Elina is more solid and has a greater ability to attack.
Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Carla Suarez Navarro in 2 sets
Group D: (4) Roberta Vinci vs Anna Schmiedlova
Roberta Vinci and Anna Schmiedlova will go head-to-head for the first time on Friday. Courtesy of Caroline Wozniacki’s withdrawal from the event, Anna Schmiedlova has taken her spot as an alternate.
Roberta Vinci started her Zhuhai campaign in style with a commanding 6-4 6-4 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Vinci was on top from start to finish, the Italian’s serve was never broken.
Schmiedlova is certainly a dangerous opponent and is more than capable of competing with the U.S Open finalist, Schmiedlova has nothing to lose and I think she will cause an upset here.
Prediction: Anna Schmiedlova to defeat Roberta Vinci in 3 sets
Group A: (7) Madison Keys vs (12) (WC) Saisai Zheng
The Final match of the day is a dead rubber. Madison and Saisai both lost their opening group stage matches to Venus Williams meaning the American will finish on top of the group and advance to the semi-finals.
Madison and Saisai both showed promising signs in their opening group matches despite being defeated. Keys came particularly close to victory, outplaying Venus for the majority of the first 2 sets but ultimately succumbing 6-3 6-7 1-6. Keys will be hoping to end the best season of he career on a high with a victory over Zheng.
Saisai Zheng pushed Venus Williams much more than expected. Saisai made a terrific start to the match and hung on the claim the first set. However Venus would eventually raise her level to steamroll past the local hopeful 4-6 6-1 6-1.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair and it should end in a victory for the American, unless she has a really bad day.