Connect with us

Tennis

PREVIEW: 2022 Australian Open selected women’s quarter-finals

We’re into the quarter-finals of the 2022 Australian Open. Damien Kayat previews Kaia Kanepi vs Iga Swiatek and Alize Cornet vs Danielle Collins.

Kaia Kanepi - Australian Open Preview
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

We're into the quarter-finals of the 2022 Australian Open. Damien Kayat previews Kaia Kanepi vs Iga Swiatek and Alize Cornet vs Danielle Collins.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2022 WTA Tour
Grand Slam Tennis
Australian Open
Melbourne Park
Selected Quarterfinals- 26th January

Kaia Kanepi 29/10 | Iga Swiatek 24/100

As is so often the case, there are far more fairy-tale narratives at play in the women’s draw this year. I wonder what odds you would have got on an Estonian quarterfinalist who wasn’t named Kontaveit?

36-year-old journeywoman Kaia Kanepi was once ranked as high as 15 in the world rankings. Ok, perhaps journeywoman is a bit unkind for someone who had reached six quarterfinals prior to this event. But her last appearance in a Grand Slam quarter came at the 2017 US Open.

Her recent record has been woeful and I’m pretty sure that the big-serving Kanepi has wrestled with the idea of retirement in recent years. But she has certainly turned back the years in Melbourne, picking up two massive scalps along the way.

She beat Angelique Kerber in the first round. But that paled in comparison to her tremendous victory against Sabalenka last time out. She capitalized on the Belarusians’ litany of mistakes to take a pulsating third-set tiebreak.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise she has succeeded here. Her last final at WTA level came at last year’s Gippsland Trophy in this very arena. She gets the ultimate value out of her massive serves on this surface.

I knew that Iga Swiatek was going to excel in this year’s event. Her ultra-aggressive style is perfectly suited to this challenge. The former French Open champion also has the physical prowess to withstand the exacting heat that Australia is currently experiencing.

She has been one of the most impressive players thus far (man on woman). Sure, she dropped her first set of the tournament against Sorana Cirstea. But she stormed back from a set down to win the three-set match fairly comfortably.

With Osaka, Badosa and Muguruza out of the draw, Swiatek looks to be the primary threat to Ashleigh Barty this year.

Verdict: Swiatek to win in straight sets at 66/100

I wish I could be more adventurous than this. This will be their first meeting and I just can’t see Kanepi replicating those Sabalenka heroics. Swiatek doesn’t commit the same number of silly errors that afflict Sabalenka so badly.

Alize Cornet 9/4 | Danielle Collins 1/3

Speaking of fairy-tale stories, it’s hard to top Alize Cornet’s achievement this year. Cornet has been a dogged competitor on the tour for some time, reaching a career-high ranking of 11 in 2009.

But let’s be honest, most of us probably know her best for that ridiculous code violation at the 2018 US Open. She was fined for taking off her shirt, leading to an uproar about gender equality.

But that should change following her emotional victory against former World Number One Simona Halep. Her reaction was perfectly understandable considering this was the first time in 63 attempts that she has reached the quarterfinal of a Slam.

Cornet actually picked up a few decent results last year, reaching her 14th WTA final in Chicago. But few could have anticipated her beating both Muguruza and Halep in this year’s Championships.

Can she harness this energy and go again against the hard-hitting Danielle Collins?

Collins has survived her own health issues and form fluctuations and looks poised to possibly reach her 2nd Aussie Open semi-final.

The 2019 semi-finalist has battled through two consecutive tight three-set matches. In her marathon 4th round match against Elise Mertens, the mercurial Collins hit a staggering 41 winners.

Luckily, she managed to hit even more winners. That tells you everything you need to know about the power-hitting American. She isn’t going to die wondering. This is perhaps the Slam where that approach is most rewarded.

The fast surfaces demand a level of aggression in order to prosper.

Verdict: Cornet to win at 9/4

This will be the first time these two will have met. Collins is an obvious favourite with her power from the back of the courts. I can fully understand someone opting for her in straight sets.

But Cornet showed against the gritty Halep that she is an accomplished counterpuncher. I think there is value in Cornet pulling off another huge upset.

She may be able to frustrate Collins into going for too much. She also seems to be handing these sweltering conditions with aplomb. Collins has had some injury issues over the past year and this may be a step too far. Cornet for the value.

Register Now with Hollywoodbets Mobile

More in Tennis

Official Partners

HOLLYWOOD SPORTSBOOK IS A LICENSED BETTING OPERATOR. HOLLYWOODBETS SUPPORTS RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING. NO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS ARE PERMITTED TO GAMBLE. WINNERS KNOW WHEN TO STOP.SOUTH AFRICAN RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING FOUNDATION TOLL FREE COUNSELLING LINE 0800 006 008 OR WHATSAPP HELP TO 076 675 0710.