Given the inconsistencies of some players on the women’s side of the draw, there has been a tendency for draws to fall apart and/or look lopsided when it comes to the latter end. On this occasion, the top 8 seeds have four representatives in the quarter finals including the fifth and fourth seeds in this potential thriller between Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber.
Kerber has had a fairly comfortable route to the quarter finals, avoiding Irina Camelia Begu and one of Ana Ivanovic or Karolina Pliskova, the three seeds she could have possibly played. Both suffered surprise losses early on and it has allowed Kerber to ease her way into the last 8 without dropping a set. Only Carina Witthoeft was close to winning one, holding set point in the first set tiebreak of their third round clash.
She needed just 63 minutes to finish off Misaki Doi in the fourth round, breaking four times and saving both break points she faced. Kerber has bounced back since a round one loss at the French Open and is confident with her game right now. “I was trying to be more aggressive today and it worked very well. I feel my tennis is getting better and better every day.” the No.4 seed.
Halep also had three fairly straight forward matches to get into week two but it was far tougher in her fourth round against Madison Keys, eventually coming out on top 6-7 6-4 6-3. The American had won the AEGON Classic in Birmingham and was possibly the favourite to make the final from the opposite half of the draw to Serena Williams. Down a set and break, Halep had to work extremely hard to get herself back into the match. After taking the second, Halep seized control in the third and was aided by a Madison Keys injury late that put paid to any chance of a late comeback from a break down.
Halep and Kerber first met in 2009 at 50k Saint Raphael and it is a testament to both players careers that they are now playing each other in the quarter finals of a grand slam as a top 5 match up. Halep won that and the next two meetings but lost to Kerber on clay in Fed Cup.
Prediction – Angelique Kerber in three sets