(23) Lucie Safarova vs (22) Ekaterina Makarova
Ekaterina Makarova and Lucie Safarova have the opportunity of a lifetime to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time when they come up against each other on Tuesday. Both Makarova and Safarova breezed through their fourth round matches. Makarova stunned fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 6-0 in a clinical performance. Makarova hit 24 winners to just 6 unforced errors. Safarova followed up her impressive win over Cibulkova in the third round with a comprehensive 6-0 6-2 victory over qualifier Tereza Smitkova.
Safarova defeated Makarova in their first encounter back in 2009 but Makarova won their most recent meeting in Madrid last year. Both ladies are very up and down; this is such a difficult match to call. Much will depend on who is able to hold their nerve and perform under the circumstances. Neither of these ladies are renowned for being strong under pressure so that makes this match even tougher to predict. I'm going to go with Lucie simply because she is having a great year so far.
Prediction: Lucie Safarova to defeat Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 5-7 6-4
(6) Petra Kvitova to defeat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
Former champion Petra Kvitova is now raging favourite to come through the bottom section of the draw to reach the final. Kvitova comes up against giant-killing compatriot Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the quarter-finals on Tuesday. Strycova shocked Li Na in the third round before knocking put Caroline Wozniacki yesterday in the fourth round. I think it’s safe to say Strycova is in the form of her life, she reached the final in Birmingham in the lead up to this event and this marks the first time she has reached the second week at a Grand Slam.
Kvitova has a 3-1 head-to-head record over Strycova and will come into this match as a clear favourite. Strycova is a tricky opponent with her mixture of slice shots, drop shots and decent groundstrokes; she certainly has the potential to frustrate Kvitova. If Kvitova plays at anywhere near her best she will be too good for Strycova and should come through this match in straight sets.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in straight sets