Here are my picks for the Quarterfinal Round of the Telecom Italia Masters Tournament in Rome, Italy
Match #1: SERENA WILLIAMS (1) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (9)
Svetlana’s third set heroics prevented this match from being a repeat of Roland Garros’ Fourth Round matchup between Ree Ree and Ai (Serena won convincingly 7-5 6-3). Svetlana’s taken two out of her three matches the whole distance, coming close to losing in both. Serena’s had a much easier time winning her two matches, and although she had a couple match points at 5-2, and had some trouble closing out her match, the rust is gradually and quite visibly off, or in the process of coming off. Svetlana’s been learning to play powerball, and she got a good schooling from Big Sis…it’s time for second period! Class is in session!
Prediction: Serena in straights
Match #2: Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi (16) vs. Jennifer Capriati (5)
Jennifer’s turning her slup around….FINALLY! All the American fans have been waiting to see Jenny return to form, and this is as good as it gets for her. She mauled Suarez, a clay courter, and proved she’s a contender for Roland Garros once more. Anna has a real problem against motivated top players (most recently Venus…man what a disappointment). Jenny should get through easily here, but her next round match looks like it’ll be CLASSIC!
Prediction: Jennifer in straights
Match #3: Vera Zvonareva (8) vs. Francesa Schiavone (14)
As in the Lakers’ series against San Antonio, we can truly see that home court advantage is PRICELESS! Although she’s yet to play someone ranked higher than her, Vera’s mental toughness has really been weakened since she dropped four straight sets to Venus after upsetting her in Paris last year. I think that if Francesa play’s cleanly, the match is hers. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be hers.
Prediction: Franchesca in 3
Match #4: Silvia Farina Elia (10) vs. Amèlie Mauresmo (2)
The long and the short of it: there’s no one on this side of the draw that can prevent Amèie from getting to the final if she doesn’t choke, crack, or bring her "C" game…or if she doesn’t get injured. Winning will be a COMPLETELY different story, but let’s take it one win at a time.
Prediction: Amèlie in straights
My Predictions for the Rome Semifinals are:
SERENA WILLIAMS (1) vs. Jennifer Capriati (5)
Francesca Schiavone (14) vs. Amèlie Mauresmo
Good Luck to SERENA, Jennifer, Francesca, and Amèlie
Career Grand Slam in your 20s? Been there done that. Career golden slam your 30s?