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Panelist Predictions: US Open Women’s Day 5

The panel is back to give their US open round three predictions. Last word on Sport’s Niall Clarke is joined by fellow tennis contributor Linda Ellis to break down the best of the womens action on day five.

Venus Williams vs Belinda Bencic

Niall: Bencic will be hoping to continue her rich vein of form by scoring another victory over a Williams sister. This time it will be older sister Venus who is looking for one last major success. The American struggled in her opening two matches against lower quality opposition than Bencic, who herself struggled in the second round. I think the crowd could boost Venus to make it close, but I will go with youth over experience.

Prediction: Bencic in 3

Linda: Bencic has had a breakout summer highlighted by winning the Rogers Cup in Toronto. On route to that title she defeated several seeded players including #1 Serena Williams as well as Ana Ivanovic and Simona Halep. Williams has already had two matches go three sets and both of those were against players that are not as highly ranked as Bencic. Bencic had a tough match against Misaki Doi but in winning that match she has probably gained even more confidence. I think this will be an extremely competitive and entertaining match.

Prediction: Bencic in 3

Elina Svitolina vs Ekaterina Makarova

Niall: This one is hard to predict. Both go about the game differently. Makarova is a leftie who prefers to attack from the baseline whilst Svitolina is a counterpuncher with a strong backhand. Makarova won their previous two meetings but the Ukrainian is still young and improving. I believe this could go either way, but Svitolina is in good form so I will go with the youngster to take this in three.

Prediction: Svitolina in 3

Linda: These two have played each other twice with Makarova winning both matches. Svitolina has had an excellent summer and is now ranked #17 while Makarova is currently ranked #13. Having been ranked as high as #5 in the world the lefty Makarova will be a tough test for Svitolina. I expect this to be a tight match and think it will go three sets.

Prediction: Makarova in 3

Madison Keys vs Agnieszka Radwanska

Niall: Talk about style clashes, the power of Keys faces the finesse of Radwanska in this interesting round three match. We know what the American brings to the table, a huge serve and extremely powerful ground strokes. On her day she can overpower anyone. Radwanska has more variety in her game and is more consistent of the two but lacks the firepower. It will likely come down to the level Keys brings making this one hard to predict. However, the Pole has never lost to the youngster in five previous meetings.

Prediction: Radwanska in 3

Linda: This will be the fifth meeting between these two players with Radwanska winning all the previous matches. The last match they played was this year at Wimbledon and Radwanska was able to diffuse the power of keys with her variety of shots and the help of the grass surface. The hard courts of this tournament should favour Keys game, however Radwanska will give her a battle.

Prediction: Keys in 3

Eugenie Bouchard vs Dominika Cibulkova

Niall: After a period of horrible form that felt like years instead of months, Bouchard is finally back amongst the wins. Despite that she is still not at the level that saw her make the Wimbledon final last year. Cibulkova upset Ivanovic in the opening round but struggled in the second, going to 7-5 in the third. Bouchard has knocked up some good wins here, but Cibulkova is a step up in competition and I believe that Slovakian will prevail.

Prediction: Cibulkova in 2

Linda: This is an interesting matchup between two players both trying to regain their previous winning form. Cibulkova had an impressive win on the first round defeating Ana Ivanovic. On a hard court Cibulkova has shown she is a dangerous opponent reaching the Australian Open final in 2014. Bouchard has won her first two matches of the tournament showing flashes of the aggressive play that served her so well last year. I think Cibulkova at this point is much more consistent than Bouchard and she will win the longer points.

Prediction: Cibulkova in 2

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