Quarter Final Predictions
Quarter finals day in Stockholm - the defending champion and No.1. seed Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi is out (retired with injury) leaving Silvia Farina Elia as the highest ranked player in the tournament.
Eight players are left in this Tier IV event which is in its third year of running. The previous winners being Svetlana Kuznetsova as a qualifer in 2002 and Anna Smashnova Pistolesi last year.
Sandra Kleinova versus Henrieta Nagyova
So its the much experienced Slovakian who has nine singles titles to her name versus the titleless Czech player. Kleinova has Smashnova's retirement to thank her for her place in the quarters while Nagyova took out Palmero runner-up and 7th seeded Flavia Pennetta in the first round to come to the quarters. Nagyova has an excellent 4-0 head-to-head over Kleinova as well. The Slovakian is sure to run away with this match in two straight sets.
Tatiana Perebiynis versus Maria Elena Camerin
A very open part of the draw meant that these two lesser known players emerged into the quarter-finals. Perebiynis from the Ukraine knocked out Iveta Benesova the fourth seed as well as Austrian qualifer Patricia Wartusch. Camerin beat young german Anna Lena Groenfield and eighth seeded Katarina Srebotnik. Perebiynis is enjoying her best year to date having reached the 3rd round of both the French and Wimbledon while Camerin is the winner of five ITF titles. This match is very open - and these are the girls first appearance in a Tier IV quarter final (Camerin reached Tier V Palmero final in 01) - so there is a lot to play for. However with the most experience i tend to lean towards predicting Camerin for this match in two close sets.
Denisa Chladkova versus Alicia Molik
Seeded to meet - the number six seeded Czech versus the third seeded Australian. Denisa reached the final of this event (when it was held in Helsinki) in 2002 and was leading 6-0 in the first set before losing to Kuznetsova. although it was on clay. This is Molik's first time playing at this event and with Anna Smashnova out it should give her determination as she is now considered one of the favourites. Head-to-head is one all but I will say that Alicia wins this in straight sets as she is higher ranked and that Chladkova never reaches her full potential.
Serverine Beltrame versus Silvia Farina Elia
Beltrame from France took out Austrian Barbara Schett who said that no-body could beat her at the tournament while Farina Elia is stringing a set of matches together having lost in the first rounds of the California hardcourt leg of the tour. Farina Elia should by paper win this but she is not on form, however I will go with Farina Elia in three sets as teenager Beltrame gets used to being on tour.