WTA Miami quarter-final line-up to savour – Previews

 

By Ros Satar

  • Angelique Kerber [1] v Venus Williams [11]
  • Simona Halep [3] v Johanna Konta [10]
  • Caroline Wozniacki [12] v Lucie Safarova
  • Mirjana Lucic-Baroni [26] v Karolina Pliskova [2]
MIAMI, USA – The WTA Miami Open quarter-finals are set, and we bring you the Britwatch Breakdown of the last eight club in Crandon Park.

 

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Angelique Kerber [1] v Venus Williams [11] – H2H: Kerber leads 2-0

The World No. 1 Angelique Kerber is chasing down her best run thus far at the Miami Open, matching last year’s run to the semi-final, if not bettering it. Uneasy has laid the crown on the head of Kerber as she hit the No. 1 spot last year, losing it briefly to Serena Williams after the German failed to defend her Australian Open title.

While Williams Minor is out with injury, Venus Williams has been delighting fans with her resurgence, making the Australian Open final, and the Indian Wells quarter-final. Whereas in Indian Wells, Williams was taking a while to warm up and having big battles, her run here has been far more straight-forward and she has not dropped a set.

Neither has Kerber, after starting the year with some very shaky serving, but she seems to have gained a little confidence, and the knowledge that she has a decent head to head lead over the elder Williams ought to give her a little more to match last year’s run.

Prediction: Kerber in three sets.

 

Simona Halep [3] v Johanna Konta [10] – H2H: 1-1

Could Miami be the turnaround point for Simona Halep? She has picked up back to back wins for the first time this season, in a 2017 that has been marred with injuries but she has not had things all her own way. A couple of three set battles, including having to come from a set down to Sam Stosur must have given her confidence.

Konta has also seemed to regain the kind of form we have been used to seeing from her. After an earlier than expecting exit in Indian Wells, Konta seems back to her old self, figuring out the challenge of Lara Arruabarrena, and then charging forward for a straight sets win.

Moreover, she got the last win over Halep a couple of years ago in Wuhan before her breakout year last year, and this also serves as a set up to the forthcoming Fed Cup battle to come.

Prediction: Konta in three sets.

 

Caroline Wozniacki [12] v Lucie Safarova – H2H: Wozniacki leads 4-3

We hoped that the battle between Caroline Wozniacki and Garbiñe Muguruza would be one of the fights of the tournament, and the first set had enough momentum shifts before Muguruza retired after losing the tie-break. Now we have the prospect of another close one with a resurgent Lucie Safarova who is racking up some good results this year after being knocked sideways with illness and injuries over the last year or so.

For the Czech this is already her best run in Miami, while Wozniacki is looking to reach only her second semi-final here. The pair are well matched in terms of their head to head and Wozniacki has had a pretty good start to her 2017, reaching two finals this year since the Australian Open.

That being said, Safarova has broken back into the Top 40 already this year, and has a final to her name this year in Budapest.

Prediction: Wozniacki in three sets.

 

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni [26] v Karolina Pliskova [2] – H2H: 3-3

Last but by no means least we have an Australian Open rematch between No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. The Croatian is having another solid run here, and few would forget her taking out one of the Australian Open favourites in the quarter-final.

Another quarter-final and the in-form Pliskova faces her once more, with the pair alternating their wins over each other in a tight head to head. We can expect some hard hitting and another close battle, but we favour the Czech this time around.

Prediction: Pliskova in three sets.

 

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