QF #1: (5) 🇷🇴 Simona Halep vs (9) 🇷🇺 Svetlana Kuznetsova
Friday’s first quarter-final in Montreal promises to be a close match between Halep and Kuznetsova. Halep has arguably been one of the most impressive players in the first couple of rounds at the Rogers Cup but is likely to face her greatest test of the tournament thus far when she comes up against Svetlana Kuznetsova. Halep and Kuznetsova have both advanced to the quarter-final stage without dropping a set: Halep defeated Daria Gavrilova and Karolina Pliskova in straight sets whilst Kuznetsova defeated Alla Kudryavtseva and Petra Kvitova.
The head-to-head record between Halep and Kuznetsova is split at 3 wins apiece. The Russian won their most recent clash, a 7-6 4-6 6-3 win at the Sydney International earlier this year (Halep was struggling with an injury during that tournament). The Romanian seems to be playing some of her best tennis of the year and should be good enough to get past Kuznetsova on a surface that suits her game.
Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova in 3 sets
QF #2: (2) 🇩🇪 Angelique Kerber vs 🇷🇺 Daria Kasatkina
Angelique Kerber and Daria Kasatkina will go head-to-head for the first time in what should be an entertaining match-up. Kerber hasn’t been at her best in the early rounds of this year’s Rogers Cup but has been strong enough to advance to the quarter-final stage where she should improve her level. Kerber has claimed three set wins over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Elina Svitolina. Kerber was close to a third round exit given Svitolina twice served for the match in the second set but the German was too good when it mattered most.
Daria Kasatkina’s form over her last couple of matches has been far more impressive. The Russian started the week with a comeback victory over Misaki Doi before recording straight set wins over Samantha Stosur and Roberta Vinci. Kasatkina’s 7-5 6-3 win over Vinci was particularly impressive.
I suspect Kerber will be too strong for Kasatkina in this match-up. These two have a similar approach, but clearly Angie has more experience and confidence on the biggest stages. If Kerber is fit and healthy, she should win this match because of her superior strength.
Prediction: Angelique Kerber to defeat Daria Kasatkina in 2 sets
QF #3: (10) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs (16) 🇷🇺 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Another first time match-up sees Madison Keys come up against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Keys and Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the quarter-final stage in a very similar fashion. Pavlyuchenkova defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets whilst Madison Keys defeated Venus Williams in three sets, both seemed like they should have closed the match out in straight sets but both recovered well to eventually win in three.
It’s tough to know how this match will unfold, I suspect Pavlyuchenkova is capable of causing an upset. Keys was extremely erratic throughout her win over Venus, Pavlyuchenkova is the type of opponent that is good at absorbing pace and can force the American into errors.
Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Madison Keys in 3 sets
QF #4: (15) 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta vs (Q) 🇸🇰 Kristina Kucova
Friday’s final quarter-final features an unlikely match-up between Johanna Konta and Kristina Kucova. Konta is in great form at the moment after claiming her maiden WTA title in Stanford last week, Konta is now on a 7 match winning streak. Konta has made the most of a favourable draw in Montreal by beating Shelby Rogers, Vania King and Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets on route to the quarter-final stage.
Kristina Kucova is having the week of her life, the Slovakian is into her first quarter-final at this level and has come all the way from the qualifying draw. Kucova has recorded upset victories over Yanina Wickmayer, Carla Suarez Navarro and Eugenie Bouchard. Kucova’s run should come to an end on Friday night, Konta should be too consistent and too powerful for Kucova.
Prediction: Johanna Konta to defeat Kristina Kucova in 2 sets