US Open 2017 Fourth Round Previews: Suarez Navarro vs V.Williams, Kvitova-Muguruza

The last 16 line-up of the bottom half of the US Open has been decided and it has delivered big time – all of them are exciting and intriguing in their own ways. I will be previewing two fourth round matches from this bottom half, Suarez Navarro-Williams and Kvitova-Muguruza…

1. Carla Suarez Navarrro (No.35) vs [9] Venus Williams (No.9)

Suarez Navarro’s route to this stage

R1: d. Ipek Soylu, 6-4 6-2

R2: d. [29] Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 4-6 7-6(4) 6-2

R3: d. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1 3-6 6-3

Williams’ route to this stage

R1: d. Viktoria Kuzmova, 6-3 3-6 6-2

R2: d. Oceane Dodin, 7-5 6-4

R3: d. Maria Sakkari, 6-3 6-4

Venus Williams has definitely been the most outstanding player in Grand Slams this year. She reached the round of 16 of the French Open and made finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Can she go one step further and get her sixth Grand Slam title? Form suggests no – though the scorelines look convincing, Venus laboured against Viktoria Kuzmova, Oceane Dodin and Maria Sakkari, struggling especially on serve. She’ll need to step it up against Carla Suarez Navarro who has arguably played her best tennis of the year here. The Spaniard is into a second week of a Slam for the second time this year, and 12th overall in her career. She’ll be coming into this match knowing she has beaten Venus before and may cause the upset…

Venus leads the head to head 4-3, but their matches have always been close, with their HTH tied at 2-2 on hard courts. Williams is the more powerful player but Suarez Navarro likes this match-up as she is able to frustrate the American with deep ground strokes and turn offense into defense. Williams is obviously not playing her best tennis at this tournament and with Suarez Navarro’s defense at her peak in her last few matches, I could see the Spaniard edging this one out. Seriously 50-50 for me…

2. [13] Petra Kvitova (No.14) vs [3] Garbine Muguruza (No.3)

Kvitova’s route to this stage

R1: d. Jelena Jankovic, 7-5 7-5

R2: d. Alize Cornet, 6-1 6-2

R3: d. [18] Caroline Garcia, 6-0 6-4

Muguruza’s route to this stage

R1: d. Varvara Lepchenko, 6-0 6-3

R2: d. Duan Ying-Ying, 6-4 6-0

R3: d. [31] Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-1 6-1

Since Birmingham, Petra Kvitova has not played her best tennis, only managing three wins in four events in Stanford, Toronto, Cincinnati and New Haven. However she has found her peak form again in New York, cruising past three tough opponents without losing a set. That isn’t a good sign for her fourth round opponent Garbine Muguruza, but Muguruza herself is playing brilliant tennis at the moment, now on an eight match winning streak. Both players are definitely contenders for the title and it’ll be a pity that one will lose…

Kvitova leads the head to head 2-1, with their rivalry on hard courts tied at one win apiece. This is one of my favourite match-ups and they have similar game styles which makes their matches really really fast. Although Kvitova seems to be finding her cutting edge for the first time during the US swing, I don’t think she’ll be able to stop Muguruza who is just playing inspired tennis and has gave out four bakery sets this week already. A Peak Petra may be able to stop the former Wimbledon champion, but anything less and the World No.3 should be in the quarterfinals of the US Open for the first time.

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