2008 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 4

Nick’s Picks along with Tennis Week and CBS Sports will bring you live coverage of the US Open from New York City. Check back everyday for insight leading up to the Open and then throughout.

Jelena Jankovic (SRB) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

Wozniacki, who is 18-years old, comes into the tournament with great confidence. She just won the title in New Haven and is ranked a career high of #18 in the world. She pulled off an upset in the third round, taking out #14 Victoria Azarenka in straight sets.

Jankovic had to fight to get by Jie Zheng of China in the third round, and it won’t get any easier as the tournament progresses. After the match she told USA that her knee felt fine and she was injury free; that is great to hear. Jankovic is looking to not only get back on top of the rankings, but she is also trying to reach her first career Grand Slam final.

Match-Up:

Jankovic is 1-0 against Wozniacki, with that win coming earlier this year in the third round at Wimbledon. Wozniacki is an excellent mover and has fantastic groundstrokes. She stands right on or near the baseline, but she is also getting more comfortable at the net. Jelena is Jelena. She will thrill the crowd with both her athletic and theatrical talents. With two of the top three seeds out of the tournament, she wants to regain the #1 position. To do this, she must serve offensively rather than pushing it in. She needs to take it to Wozniacki instead of playing such a defensive game. I give the edge to Jankovic, but it will be a battle.

Nick’s Pick – Jankovic in 3 sets

Elena Dementieva (RUS) vs. Na Li (CHN)

Li hasn’t played much on tour this year because of an injury, but she is one of the hottest players right now. She just reached the semis at the Olympics, beating Zvonareva, Kuznetsova, and Venus Williams and she took out Shahar Peer in the first round here.

While Li may have reached the semis of the Olympics, Dementieva won the Gold Medal! Not many people talk about her as a potential champion here, but I think her chances are as good as anybody else. She reached the finals here back in 2004 and is still looking for her first Grand Slam title.

Match-Up:

Li and Dementieva have met twice before, with each player winning one match. Li loves to pound groundstrokes from the baseline and has a solid serve. She has had to go three sets in all of her matches, but she has only lost a total of three games in those sets. That tells me one thing: Her mental focus just gets even stronger as the match goes on.

With the help of Harold Solomon and Andy Brandi, Dementieva’s serve has improved. Once the ball is in play, she can match anybody stroke for stroke. Like Jankovic, she smells her opportunity at reaching the top spot and winning her first Grand Slam. In order to win this match and the ones to follow, she cannot falter on her serve and put herself in a defensive position after one stroke.

Nick’s Pick – Dementieva in 3 sets

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Severine Bremond (FRA) vs. Serena Williams (USA)

The 29-year old Bremond is into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for only the second time in her career. The previous occasion occurred when she reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2006. She came into the tournament ranked #121, but she has been as high as #34 back in February of 2007.

Serena has been dominant in her three matches. She has only lost a total of 10 games, and been on court for just three hours. She looks healthy, confident and determined to make it back to the finals for fourth time in her career.

Match-Up:

This is the first career match between Bremond and Williams. Bremond has excellent groundstrokes and keeps constant pressure on her opponents at all times. Serena will look to exploit Bremond’s one-handed backhand with heavy cross-court backhand shots. Her relentless powerful groundstrokes will be the big difference in this match, causing unforced errors and plenty of defensive balls. I look for Serena to continue her run.

Nick’s Pick – S. Williams in 2 sets  

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs. Venus Williams (USA)

Radwanska has been to the fourth round or better of every Grand Slam this year, and this is the second straight year she has reached the Round of 16 at the US Open. She has won three titles already this year, with her most recent one coming at Eastbourne before Wimbledon.

Venus has played in the US Open 10 times (including this year), and every time she has graced these courts she has at least reached the fourth round. Of those nine previous appearances she has been to the semis or finals seven times!! To get back to semis she will have to get by a tough test here, and then maybe her sister Serena in the quarterfinals.

Match-Up:

Radwanska is 1-0 against Williams, with that win coming back in 2006. Radwanska doesn’t have the big weapons that some of the other top girls have, but she is a brick wall on the baseline. She doesn’t make many errors, and she moves extremely well. When you play against a player like this, you have to be a bit more patient and not go for outright winners all the time. You have to hit one or two extra balls to set up the point. Venus is playing fantastic tennis. She has really cut down on her unforced errors, is moving beautifully, and her serve has been very consistent. The one thing she has that most of the girls don’t, is her ability to come into the net and use that long wingspan to hit magnificent volleys. This has the potential to be a close match, but in the end I like Venus to pull it out.

Nick’s Pick – V. Williams in 3 sets 

Other matches to watch…

Mauresmo/Pennetta – Mauresmo will really have to be playing her best tennis if she wants to reach the quarterfinals. Pennetta is playing excellent right now, and this should be a very interesting match.

Groenefeld/Safina – Groenefeld is on fire and Safina struggled a bit in her third round match. We all know what Safina has been doing this year, but to get to the quarterfinals she is going to have to play better than she did in her last match.

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~ by Nick's Picks on August 31, 2008.

One Response to “2008 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 4”

  1. I picked Wozniacki to upset Janković when the draw came out, and I still stand by that prediction now. Wozniacki has had great results in recent months, while Janković after the French Open has been far from her best.

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