Caroline Wozniacki vs Karolina Pliskova
Earlier this year, Caro and Pliskova reached the final in Doha. Wozniacki had won the tournament before. In 2013 Miami, Woz overcame Pliskova in three sets here. The same goes, winning at 2014 Monterrey and Istanbul, also in another three sets. Pliskova was good back then, but she was very inconsistent and she grew frustrated with her game.
But in the past two years, Pliskova increased her speed. She will never be the fastest player, but this was a real improvement. But she hits the ball harder than anyone. That is why she is now ranked No. 3, and if she continued to improve, than she will become No. 1 someday. Soon.
This year, the former No. 1 Wozniacki is rising again — especially with her forehand and serve — but once she goes up against the very good women, she chokes a bit. More so, in the semis or finals against the top 10, she gets very nervous. Amazingly, Woz hasn’t won a big event since 2011, when she won Dubai, Indian Wells and Beijing. Now, it’s all in her head.
The good news is that Caro is finally getting aggressive. For sure, she is as steady as a rock and very rarely gets tired. In order to change when she was losing all the time, she need to see the light. She is on her way there, but it will be a months-long journey.
That is why Pliskova will attack immediately and go for the lines. If she is kissing the lines, she will win. If she does not, maybe Caro will break her down.
It’s a tossup, but Pliskova will out-stroke Woz at the end.
Roger Federer vs Tomas Berdych
The Swiss is totally locked in. It’s hard to believe that he is now nearly a reflection of his brilliant self from the mid-2000s. Players from that time must be wondering if Federer will continue to show real flashes of the player who dominated the sport a decade ago. Czech Berdych has gotten better in the past 10 days, but he still isn’t 100 percent yet. Take Federer is straight sets.
It is the quarterfinals of Miami, you know? Are the young guys ready to dance now? Perhaps they are.
The 19-year-old Zverev is racing ahead, stunning Stan Wawrinka. The controversial but super powerful Kyrgios has played very well this month, and the 21-year-old will reach the top 10 very soon.
Two weeks ago at Indian Wells, Kyrgios beat the No. 20 Zverev 6-3 6-4. Maybe the German will change it up? Perhaps, but as good as Zverev is, he still needs to learn a lot of things.
So does Nick, but he is a little older, and on court, smarter. Nick in straight sets.
Johanna Konta vs Venus Williams
Both women played two great contests on Wednesday: Konta overcame Simon Halep in three dramatic — and very long —sets; Venus rushed towards the net frequently and bested the odd No. 1, Angie Kerber, in straight sets.
Last year, Konta beat Venus at the Aussie Open and Stanford. While Konta is in great shape now, still, she might be a big tired. If Konta goes right out of the gates, she will win in straight sets. If they go to the third set, Venus will break her down. If Konta can take down Williams, we predict she will reach the final of Miami for the first time.