US Open Day 8 Women’s Predictions Including Maria Sakkari vs Serena Williams

US Open Serena Williams

The intensity was taken up a notch on Day 7 of the US Open as the round of 16 matches began. The cream is rising to the top now and the quality of play has been excellent.

The quarterfinals for the top half of the draw in the Women’s competition were set on Day 7. The players in the bottom half take to the court on Day 8, who will make it to the final eight? Andy Watson, Damian Kust and Yesh Ginsburg give their opinions on all the matches.

US Open Day 8 Predictions

Alize Cornet vs Tsvetana Pironkova

Andy: The three previous head-to-head encounters in this series occurred in 2007, 2008 and 2011. This shows how long this pair have been around the game, but Pironkova has been a total surprise package getting to this stage. It has been well documented that she was last seen in Wimbledon 2017 but this can’t be understated. With her run so far she has every chance of winning this match too, though Cornet has been good so far this week too. The Frenchwoman won through by default against Keys but had the American in trouble before the retirement. However, it is the Bulgarian who has beaten the better players this week and she could well do it again here.
Prediction: Pironkova in 3

Damian: After 38 months out of play, Tsvetana Pironkova is somehow playing mind-blowing tennis and is in the sixth second week of a Slam in her career. The Bulgarian’s run already includes wins over Garbine Muguruza and Donna Vekic and there have been little to no hiccups along the way. With her exceptionally effective backhand and a tricky game, she should be a slight favorite coming into this one. But if she finally has a day off, Cornet is playing well enough to capitalize.
Prediction: Pironkova in 3

Yesh: Cornet is having an amazing summer, but she isn’t playing near the level that Pironkova has brought this week. Can the Bulgarian keep this run of form up? There’s no reason to think she can’t––and right now, there’s no reason to think she can’t win the whole tournament.
Prediction: Pironkova in 2

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Karolina Muchova vs Victoria Azarenka

Andy: This match should be an excellent watch. The young Czech hasn’t yet shown in her short career that she can make an impact deep into big events, but she has undoubted talent and power. Azarenka though has plenty of big-time experience. The Belorussian has really flown back to supreme form almost out of nowhere but her court smarts really saw her comfortably past Iga Swiatek in the previous round. This match may follow a similar pattern, Muchova will win her fair share of points off her serve and powerful groundstrokes, but Azarenka’s level has been so high that she should still come through.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3

Damian: For the past two weeks, Victoria Azarenka has been playing way better than anybody else on the tour. How long will that last? Her victory over Iga Swiatek suggests that this completely unexpected streak is not going to be over just yet. Azarenka’s second serve return is still the best in the business and she’ll be ready to pounce right at Muchova’s delivery. The Czech did well to survive three match points against Sorana Cirstea but she isn’t beating the best player in the world right now.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2

Yesh: Azarenka is getting better and better, while Muchova is playing very good tennis, but not quite at the same level or as consistently. The Russian doesn’t quite have enough weapons or variety to trouble the two-time finalist here.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2

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Elise Mertens vs Sofia Kenin

Andy: It’s starting to become a real difficult job to beat Sofia Kenin in a Grand Slam. No one has yet managed it this year but the Belgian will fancy her chances. Mertens is in great form and has often been dominant in her matches. Mertens hasn’t managed to beat Kenin yet though and with Kenin’s sheer refusal to lose a Grand Slam match this may not change here.
Prediction: Kenin in 3

Damian: Still unbeaten at Grand Slams in 2020, Sofia Kenin has been raising her level with each round of this US Open and didn’t lose a set despite a draw filled with possible trap matchups (Leylah Fernandez, Ons Jabeur). The American’s money shot is her backhand and she’s been using that shot skillfully in pretty much every situation. Elise Mertens has been playing very well after the restart but she will not put Kenin under as much pressure as Jabeur. The American should find herself more at home in a matchup where the opponent is not as forceful. She also leads the head-to-head 2-0.
Prediction: Kenin in 2

Yesh: Mertens is playing as well as anyone in the world right now, but Kenin is rapidly finding the form that won her the Australian Open in January. The American finds a way, but this one will be very tight.
Prediction: Kenin in 3

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Maria Sakkari vs Serena Williams

Andy: A repeat of last week’s match at the same venue, but will the outcome remain the same? It is a strong case to argue that Williams’ level has improved since her run at the Western & Southern Open was ended by the Greek in three sets. However, Sakkari has continued to play very well and definitely will feel as though she should win this match. Williams isn’t playing as well as she did last year and this is going to be a tough test. Ultimately, the form from their previous match gives the edge to the Greek and I don’t see enough of a reason to trust in a turnaround.

Prediction: Sakkari in 3

Damian: The American will get a chance to take revenge for their meeting at the Western & Southern Open, won by Sakkari in a dramatic three-setter. Sakkari is still playing well, impressing with her court coverage and great mix of power and precision on her first serve. Serena Williams showed why you can never underestimate her as she basically stopped missing balls on the way to a comeback win against Sloane Stephens. This should be fun, but Serena’s mental performance against Stephens makes me believe she can somehow find the extra gear.
Prediction: Williams in 3

Yesh: Williams is improving as this tournament goes on, but Sakkari is in the best form of her life. I think the Greek will win, but my rule prevails. It’s insane to ever pick against Serena Williams.
Prediction: Williams in 3

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