TENNIS: The WTA 125 tour continues this week with quarter final action from Andorra. We preview two of the matchups below.
Cristina Bucsa v Alison van Uytvanck – Friday 14:45
Another intriguing matchup in these quarter finals sees the eight seed Cristina Bucsa take on second seed Alison van Uytvanck, with the winner of this fancying themselves to go on and win the tournament. The only previous meeting between these two took place in Australia just under a year ago, with the Belgian van Uytvanck prevailing in two sets.
The Spaniard Bucsa has been in fine nick this tournament, coming through both of her previous matches without dropping a set, which included an impressive 76% first serve win percentage in her 6-3 6-3 win against Kateryna Baindl. That match also saw Busca win over half of her break points on Baindl’s serve (11/21), showcasing her attacking approach when receiving.
Van Uytvanck is likewise yet to drop a set in her Andorra campaign which included a 6-4 6-4 triumph over fellow Belgian Yanina Wickmayer and a comfortable 7-5 6-2 victory against Katrina Scott in the round of 16. Her most recent match against Scott saw her maintain a first serve percentage of just 51% – a figure she will undoubtedly want to improve on if she is to persevere in this contest.
Whilst this could be interpreted as a close quarter-final against two seeded players, the disparity in quality between Van Uytvanck (ranked 55 in the world) and Bucsa (104) should be displayed on Centre Court this afternoon. Backing van Uytvanck at 1.4 should be a safe option in this one.
Sabine Lisicki v Alycia Parks – Friday 18:00
In perhaps the most even contest of the quarter-final draw, Sabine Lisicki of Germany faces off against the American Alycia Parks on Centre Court. This will be the first ever meeting between two players who are at different stages of their career, with the German 12 years Parks’ senior.
The 33-year-old has coasted into the quarter-finals in Andorra with two straight sets victories, including a controlled 7-5 6-3 triumph over the sixth seed Sara Errani in the first round. The following stage of the tournament saw Lisicki beat promising Russian Alina Charaeva 6-0 6-3, which saw her maintain an impressive first serve win percentage of 77%.
Alycia Parks began her tournament in Andorra with an impressive victory over the fourth seed Linda Noskova in three sets, smashing 15 aces in the process, though she interestingly committed 17 double faults during her effort. Her second round match against Oceane Dodin saw a much more consistent serving display, firing down 14 aces and committing seven double faults with an 82% win percentage on her first serve.
The American has now won ten of her thirteen indoor matches this season, only failing to win the first set in one of those victories, and has played a lot more tennis than her opponent on Friday evening. It’ll be a tight affair, but we’re backing Parks at 1.88 to reach the semi-finals in Andorra.