2009 Wimbledon – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Quarterfinals

Every day throughout Wimbledon Nick’s Picks will bring you the latest analysis and predictions. We are also teaming up with The Independent Newspaper in London to cover the event!

Dinara Safina (RUS) vs. Sabine Lisicki (GER)

Safina needed everything she had to beat the former Wimbledon champ, Amelie Mauresmo, in the fourth round. She is now into the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time in her career, and she has advanced to at least the quarters of the last four Grand Slams.

Everyone at the Academy couldn’t be happier for Sabine. She is a great girl with a fantastic attitude and has really worked hard to get to where she is today. She has been training at the Academy for the last four or five years and during that time she has become a top professional. This is her first appearance in the quarterfinals of any Grand Slam, but trust me, she has the talent to keep moving on!

Match-Up:

Lisicki is 1-0 against Safina, with that win coming in the opening round of the 2008 Australian Open. At that time, Safina was #16 in the world and Lisick was #194. Plenty has changed since then, and both have really improved their games. You are going to see a lot of hard-hitting action in this match. Both girls have big-time forehands and backhands and really play aggressively. I think for Lisicki to win she is going to have to hit get her monster first serve in and then put the ball away quickly. The longer the rallies and the match goes, the more it favors Safina. The Russian has been on this stage before and that experience should help her. This match could go either way depending on who is getting their first serve in and who is able to control the points. I like Lisicki early and then Safina if it goes long.

Nick’s Pick – Lisicki in 2, Safina in 3 sets

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

Venus advanced to the quarterfinals for the third straight year and for the 10th time in her illustrious career when Ana Ivanovic retired in the second set. There is no question that Venus is the favorite to win this tournament, but the one thing that must hold up is her knee which seems to be giving her a little trouble.

Radwanska ended the dream run of American Melanie Oudin 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarters for the second consecutive year. Radwanska has never been to the semifinals of any Grand Slam and beating Venus here would clearly be one of the biggest victories of her career.

Match-Up:

Venus is 3-1 against Radwanska and has beaten her twice already this year (once on clay and once on the hard court). What makes Radwanska so good is her ability to cover the court and make very few unforced errors. She keeps the ball in play and is like a brick wall on the baseline. Her biggest vulnerability is her second serve. It clocks in around 65mph and can and will be attacked by Venus. Look for Ms. Williams to pounce on the weak serve and keep Radwanska on the defensive throughout the match. Venus is always comfy on the grass, she is confident she can win, and right now she isn’t making many forehand errors. That is a recipe for great success!

Nick’s Pick – V. Williams in 2 sets

Elena Dementieva (RUS) vs. Francesca Schiavone (ITA)

Dementieva has yet to drop a set in any of her matches this year and she has gone relatively quietly through the draw. She beat fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals and is looking to get back into the semis for the second straight year.

Schiavone is in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for only the third time in her career. In fact, at Wimbledon she had never even been past the third round previous to this year. She has played well though, taking out Aleksandra Wozniak, Michelle de Brito, Marion Bartoli and Virginie Razzano en route to this match.

Match-Up:

Dementieva and Schiavone are 4-4 against each other, but they haven’t grass and haven’t played since last year. Schiavone is tricky because she isn’t a big girl, but she certainly has the ability to take it to her opponent. She is crafty with the ball and knows how to keep you off-guard. Against Dementieva that might not be enough though, especially with the improved Dementieva serve. I look for the Russian to pound the groundies from both sides and use her excellent movement to keep Schiavone pinned behind the baseline.

Nick’s Pick – Dementieva in 3 sets

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) vs. Serena Williams (USA)

Azarenka toughed out a three-set battle over Nadia Petrova in the fourth round to reach the quarterfinals for the first time at Wimbledon. This is her second consecutive Grand Slam quarter, and she is looking for her first Grand Slam semi. Right now she is the odds-makers third choice after each of the Williams’ sisters. She could become the second option with a win here.

Serena has stated numerous times that she thinks she should have won more than two Wimbledon titles at this point in her career. She looks more determined than ever and is playing some of the best tennis I have ever seen from her. She hasn’t lost a set in this year’s tournament, but Azarenka might have something to say about that.

Match-Up:

Serena is 2-1 against Azarenka and they have split two matches thus far in 2009. I know one thing is for sure, Serena will not forget the loss she incurred to Azarenka in the finals at Miami earlier this year. I know I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the net when Serena comes out on court! Serena is playing more intelligent tennis right now than she has been in the past. She isn’t trying to win the point right away, rather she is building points while constantly attacking. This philosophy will pay handsome dividends as she continues to progress through the tournament. Azarenka knows she can beat Serena and with that knowledge and experience she should be confident heading into this match. I can’t say I would be surprised if Azarenka won, but I have to give the edge to Serena.

Nick’s Pick – S. Williams in 3 sets

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~ by Nick's Picks on June 29, 2009.

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