2010 Sony Ericsson Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Quarterfinals
Sam Stosur (AUS) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL)
Stosur moved past Indian Wells champion, Jelena Jankovic, 6-1, 7-6(9) in the fourth round and is in the quarterfinals of Miami for the second straight year. Last year she was beaten by eventual champion, Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-0. I am sure she is looking for a much better showing this time around.
Clijsters took down last year’s champion, Azarenka, relatively easily 6-4, 6-0 in the fourth round. She comes into the tournament ranked #16 in the world and it won’t be long until she finds herself within in the top 10. She won this tournament back in 2005 without dropping a set so you know she is comfortable on these courts.
Clijsters is 2-0 against Stosur, and the last time they met was in Miami back in 2007 and Clijsters won in straight sets. Against Jankovic in the fourth round, Stosur’s serve was fantastic. If she serves like that consistently she can beat anyone in the world. What does give Stosur problems are balls with heavy spin and that is what Clijsters hits. Clijsters, with her speed and agility, will also force Stosur to hit one or two extra balls which will frustrate the Australian. To me, this match is all about Stosur’s serve and athleticism. If she gets that first serve in, watch out! If Clijsters is able to get that serve back and get into the points, the edge definitely goes to her. I like Clijsters’ overall game to get her through in three tough sets.
Nick’s Pick – Clijsters in 3 sets
Justine Henin (BEL) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Henin beat Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals and she looked very good out there. This was already the third seeded player Henin has beaten in this tournament and she hasn’t even really been tested yet. Right now, you have to like her chances at winning her first title in Miami.
Wozniacki is now the #2 ranked player in the world and with that comes new pressures. So far she has handled herself well, beating Maria Kirilenko in the third round and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth. She reached the finals last week at Indian Wells and is looking for her first appearance in the semis of Miami.
This is the first career meeting between Henin and Wozniacki, and it promises to be a good one. Henin is one of the few players on the WTA Tour than can do a little bit of everything. She can hit the slice, the flat backhand, she has a good serve, she moves extremely well, she can change the pace and she can also hit the big forehand. There are really no glaring weaknesses in her game. To win this match, Wozniacki cannot just go out and hit with Henin – that will absolutely not work. She has to play very aggressive and take it to the Belgian from the outset. Wozniacki definitely has the game to push Henin and win this match, it is a matter of will she be ready. Now that she is #2 in the world, she needs to perform like a #2. I give the edge to Henin, but it won’t be as easy as her other wins.
Nick’s Pick – Henin in 3 sets