Wimbledon 2008 – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Quarterfinals
Nick’s Picks will have complete coverage of Wimbledon 2008, and we are teaming with Tennis Week and The Independent Newspaper in London to provide in-depth analysis throughout the tournament! Also, be sure to listen for Nick on Radio Wimbledon each day at 4pm EST!
Venus Williams (USA) vs. Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA)
Throughout the tournament it has appeared that Venus is getting stronger after every match. She played her best tennis thus far in the fourth round, beating Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 6-4. She only made 12 unforced errors, and was 3/4 on break chances. Her movement was excellent, and her groundstrokes were vintage Venus.
Tanasugarn is a 31-year old veteran, who is an excellent grass-court player. She just won the title at s’Hertogenbosch (beating Safina in the finals), and has had her best Grand Slam results at Wimbledon (4th round six times). This is her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Venus is 6-0 against Tanasugarn, but the two have never met on grass before. Tanasugarn hits the ball flat and will not give in. She is a relentless fighter and is extremely strong mentally. She will definitely come out with a good game plan to try and attack Venus’ weaknesses. I just don’t think that is going to be enough. Venus is playing at a very high level right now. Her serve is rolling, she isn’t making many unforced errors, and her movement is excellent. Combine all that with her experience at Wimbledon, and I just can’t see her falling right now.
Nick’s Pick – V. Williams in 2 sets
Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) vs. Jie Zheng (CHN)
After dropping the opening set against Chakvetadze, Vaidisova bounced back to take the second the match 4-6, 7-6(0), 6-3. After the year she has had, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that Vaidisova would be back in the quarters at Wimbledon. Now, she is one match away from reaching the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2007 Australian Open.
Zheng, a former Wimbledon doubles champ, is playing in her first career Grand Slam singles quarterfinal. After beating Ana Ivanovic in straight sets in the third round, she followed it up with another straight set win over #15 Agnes Szavay in the fourth round. It’s incredible to think that heading into the quarters, she has yet to even drop a set!
Vaidisova is 2-0 against Zheng, but they haven’t played since 2006. We have seen some very encouraging signs that Vaidisova is coming out of her 2008 slump. She will need to keep her unforced errors down and her first serve percentage up against Zheng. In her last two matches, Zheng has a total of 25 unforced errors and has capitalized on 7/14 break opportunities. Vaidisova must also use her big groundstrokes to keep Zheng on the defensive, because Zheng is so steady from the baseline. Look for Zheng to use her very flat down-the-line shots to keep Vaidisova on the move. We have seen what Zheng is capable of doing already this tournament, so you know Vaidisova will not take her lightly. If she plays like has been, Vaidisova should win this match.
Nick’s Pick – Vaidisova in 3 sets
Serena Williams (USA) vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
In an All-American battle in the fourth round, it was Serena Williams who came out on top over Bethanie Mattek 6-3, 6-3. Serena is in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the second straight year and for the seventh time in her career. With her and Venus winning, we are still on track for an all Williams final!
Radwanska moved into her second career Grand Slam quarterfinal with a three set win over fourth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova. She has already won three titles this year, including just a couple of weeks ago at Eastbourne. She is playing some of the best tennis of anyone on tour right now.
Williams is 1-0 against Radwanska, with that win coming earlier this year at Berlin (which was on clay). Grass is a better surface for both players, as they are more comfortable on the faster surfaces. Radwanska plays excellent defense, and is like a brick wall on the baseline because it is hard to get anything by her. She doesn’t have a huge serve, but she places it extremely well. Serena will look to control the court and keep Radwanska off balance. Like her sister, she is serving well, not making many errors, and moving beautifully. Serena knows that she can win this tournament; she just has to keep her focus and not show any negative signs of emotion. Radwanska will have to play some of the best tennis of her life to beat Serena on grass, and with that being the case I give the edge to Serena.
Nick’s Pick – S. Williams in 3 sets
Nadia Petrova (RUS) vs. Elena Dementieva (RUS)
Petrova just reached the finals at Eastbourne before the tournament, and is definitely playing better tennis than she was at the beginning of the year. This is the second time she has reached the quarters at Wimbledon, with her previous appearance coming back in 2005. If she is to win here, it would be the first time she reaches a Grand Slam semifinal.
Dementieva cruised by Shahar Peer in the fourth round, winning 6-2, 6-1. This is her second career appearance in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, and she will be looking to reach the semis here for the first time. There isn’t much talk about Dementieva, but she is the highest remaining seed!
Petrova is 7-4 against Dementieva, and has beaten her twice on grass (not since 2003 though). Dementieva is hitting the ball really clean right now, and loves to hit it flat down the line. This is a great recipe for success on grass. Her serve hasn’t been a problem like it has past tournaments, and once the ball gets in play no one is better. Petrova has a better all-around game than Dementieva. She is more comfortable at the net and has a better serve. The question is her mental strength. In the past she has had problems in big matches at Grand Slams. Will that haunt her again? While I think Petrova’s all-court game is better, I also feel that she is a bit more inconsistent with her groundstrokes. This is another close match, but I give Dementieva the nod.
Nick’s Pick – Dementieva in 3 sets