Panelist predictions: US Open Women’s Day 4

Day four of the US Open and the second round matches are coming to an end. Who will secure their place into round three?

Last Word contributors Niall Clarke and Finn Ranson break down four of the best matches on Thursday, complete with predictions.

Lets get this show on the road!

Garbine Muguruza vs. Johanna Konta

Niall: Konta managed to knock off the ninth seed at Eastbourne earlier in the year so Muguruza will be keen to make up for that loss. The Spaniard has under-performed in the build up to Grand slams, but when she has reached the big stage she turns into a beast who can hit winners from almost anywhere. So with that said I think Konta will be blown away here despite her good form recently.

Prediction: Muguruza in 2

Finn: These two met back in Eastbourne this year on the grass, where Konta actually prevailed in three sets. But a lot has changed since then, and after Muguruza’s run to the Wimbledon final she is a totally different prospect. Konta was clinical in her first round and will match the Spaniard from the back, but after acquitting herself so well against Williams on Centre Court, Muguruza will ultimately be a lot more assured on the big stage.

Prediction: Muguruza in 3

Camila Giorgi vs Sabine Lisicki

Niall: Well what to expect from this one? A lot of hard hitting is all I can think of, because the result is a toss-up. Both have huge games with a high peak but are wild at the same time. I do not know what will happen here but I might just go for the player who is more experienced on the big stage.

Prediction: Lisicki In 3

Finn: Any match involving Sabine Lisicki is wildly unpredictable. The German has probably got one of the most powerful serves on the tour, yet it can become inconsistent when under pressure, and I think Giorgi holds sufficient attacking threat to force that mentality upon Lisicki. Plus in the longer baseline rallies – which will become common if the Lisicki serve does indeed misfire – Giorgi will be much better equipped possessing the better stamina and patience of the two.

Prediction: Giorgi in 3

Victoria Azarenka vs. Yanina Wickmayer

Niall: Azarenka is back at one of her favourite events having reached two finals here. The Belarusian is still trying to find her best form though after injuries derailed her 2014. Wickmayer is a good baseliner with weapons, but not enough to topple Azarenka.

Prediction: Azarenka in 2

Finn: For former two time finalist Victoria Azarenka, the US Open is one of her favoured stomping grounds. Even last year, after a season ravaged by injury, she still reached the quarterfinals. Both players are very similar in their styles: hard hitting baseliners, but I think that Azarenka can hit the angles much better. That, and the confidence the Belarusian must feel on the acrylic of Flushing Meadows, will make for a comfortable win.

Prediction: Azarenka in 2

Angelique Kerber vs. Karin Knapp

Niall: Despite her success at Premier level in 2015, Kerber has really failed to make an impression in the grand slams. Can she go deep in New York? Her opponent, Karin Knapp, is a solid player but in my opinion lacks the weapons to hit through the incredible defence of the German. Therefore I feel Kerber will prevail fairly comfortably.

Prediction: Kerber in 2

Finn: Kerber played magnificently to take the Stanford title just a few weeks ago, and I think that she could enjoy a deep foray into the draw this year. Knapp is a solid player but lacks the flair and aggression to hit through the agile Kerber on a hard court. In the early stages of the match there could be some lengthy baseline rallies between these two, which Kerber will be perfectly happy with and will in fact allow her to gain some rhythm. Once this happens, we’ll see those trademark, flat counter punching shots come in to play, and the German won’t look back.

Prediction: Kerber in 2

Enjoy what you see? Check out all of our complete coverage of the 2015 US Open here.
Main Photo: