Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: WTA Tour: US Open Quarter-Finals Preview

WTA Tour: US Open Quarter-Finals Preview

Tennis player holds racquet

Can Jo Konta get the better of Elina Svitolina to progress to the US Open Semi-Finals? Damien Kayat is predicting a tricky time for the Brit.
WTA Tour 2019 | US Open | Flushing Meadows, New York City
Selected Quarter-Finals | 3-4 September 2019

Johanna Konta (33/20) 
vs Elina Svitolina (9/20)
There have been several prominent stories of a resurgence in the women’s game this year: just consider the likes of Belinda Bencic and Ashleigh Barty. But perhaps Johanna Konta’s comeback this year has been the most surprising.

The 2016 Aussie Open and 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist seemed to have lost her way in 2018, coming dangerously close to exiting the top 50 in the world rankings.

But this season has seen the Brit regain her on-court composure. She reached the final in Morocco before an excellent run to the final in Rome.

It has been her tremendous Grand Slam form that has really elevated her back into the conversation. She reached her 3rd Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros- proving that the final in Rome was no fluke. She then kept her home support interested with a valiant quarterfinal run at Wimbledon.

A win in this match will make her a semi-finalist in all four Grand Slams.

It has been a year of unbelievable consistency for the Elina Svitolina, formerly ranked number three in the world.

A quarter-final in Melbourne highlighted a newfound competitiveness in Grand Slam tennis. She reached her maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon.

She has signalled out her new relationship with Gael Monfils as a major turning point in her career. She says that hitting balls with the lanky Frenchman - himself a quarter-finalist this year - has helped increase her power and consistency.

Her victory over the generally explosive Madison Keys was a testament to her newfound brutality from the back of the court.

Her hard-court form this year has been hyper-consistent, with semi-finals at Indian Wells, Qatar and Dubai.

With a host of surprises already in this year’s US Open, Svitolina may feel that it’s her time to break a long-standing Grand Slam duck.

These two are no strangers to one another. In fact, this will be their fifth meeting. And it doesn’t make for optimistic reading if you’re a Konta fan. The Ukrainian has dominated the Brit 4-0, winning two times last year. Their last meeting came at last year’s Roger’s Cup, with Svitolina winning in straight sets. Svitolina has to be the favourite, yet to drop a set thus far. That performance against Keys makes her the only option here. In fact, I’d be inclined to opt for the Ukrainian to win in straight sets at 13/10.  

Belinda Bencic (11/20) 
vs Donna Vekic (27/20)
Donna Vekic’s travails over the past few years have been well documented.

She was previously best known as Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend, culminating in those ugly scenes with Kyrgios.

But Vekic has started to let her tennis do the talking.

She showed her hard-court credentials with a run to the Washington final last year. She then started this year with a positive semi-final run in Brisbane. She then reached yet another hard-court final in St Petersburg.

Clay is her worst surface by far, yet a 4th round run at Roland Garros underlined her evolution as a player over the past 12 months. She reached the Nottingham Final but has been somewhat subdued during this final leg of the WTA season.

But her victory over Julia Gorges showed a new-found tenacity. A year ago she would have lost that match after going a set behind.

Bencic is yet another player who has seemingly emerged from hiatus this season.

Her two Hopman Cup victories with Federer in 2018 and 2019 were really her main calling cards prior to this season. But the 2014 US Open quarter-finalist has rediscovered her mojo this season, beginning with that brilliant victory on the hard-courts in Dubai. She then reached the semi-finals of Indian Wells and the Madrid Open. That all-court status was augmented by an appearance in the final of the Mallorca Open on grass.

She hasn’t exactly set the world alight on the North-American hard-court swing, but her form thus far at Flushing Meadows has looked imperious. She accounted for defending champion Naomi Osaka in dismissive fashion, picking up one of the major upsets of what has been a US Open littered with surprising results.

Bencic leads the head-to-head encounters between these two 2-1. Vekic won their last match, however, surprising Bencic with a routine victory in this year’s Rome event. But you have to opt for a Bencic victory here. Vekic has probably enjoyed the most aggregable set of fixtures of any quarter-finalist, and Bencic’s victory over Osaka was hugely impressive. 

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets.

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