US Open 2019 Fourth Round Picks, RESULTS
Top Half: 1 Wins; 3 Losses
Bottom Half: 2 Wins; 2 Losses
Of the 8 remaining players, I picked 3 of them to reach this round. Process this: Serena Williams is the only player remaining who has won a major championship. This is a testament to her greatness.
Bencic B. (13) vs. [Vekic D.] (23) - Much has been made of the number of wins Bencic has against Top 10 players. While impressive, one could also see it as an entry point to a negative inquiry: Why isn't Bencic a Top 10 player? Aside from injuries that has hurt her ranking in prior years, Bencic has not consistently shown the the shotmaking required to beat all-comers. The quality of players she has lost to is scattered.
One of her recent losses is to Vekic who seems to will herself to wins as she did in the last round. Vekic strikes the proper balance between offense and defense. Her losses tend to come to higher-ranked players, particularly those with power though there's a slip-up here and there. Vekic has lost 2 of 3 meetings to Bencic who I had losing in this round to Kiki Bertens.
The adjustment is I see Vekic toughing out another win simply because of her defense and composure.
Andreescu B. V. (15) vs. [Mertens E.] (25) -- Andreescu is this year's WTA upstart who is getting all the love and accolades due to her winning ways. Mertens is the quiet "pro" who no one ever talks about. Mertens is the type of player who can exploit one of Andreescu's glaring weaknesses: her serve. Mertens has decent enough speed to defend Andreescu's quick strikes. What she might not have is the strength and all-around game to dictate Andreescu's court position.
I had neither player reaching this round, with both losing to former majors champions: Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova, respectively. This is the the first match between Andreescu and Merterns. It is truly a toss-up where I will go with Mertens because I've long felt she could sneak a win of a major in her career.
[Svitolina E.] (5) vs. Konta J. (16) -- Svitolina is a Top 10 player for one reason: she comes to play. No Excuses, EVER! From that point, she's one of the WTA's best technicians and will pick apart most players. To beat her, a player has to be high energy or have exceptional power. Svitolina is good for three to four rounds in most tournaments.
When it comes to her opponent Konta who I picked to reach this round, Svitolina has beaten her all four meetings. Konta's game is tailor-made for Svitolina's defensive game that now has a heightened level of counter strikes. For Konta to win, she has to center Svitolina and/or hit at her directly to avoid returns that have angles or pace.
[Williams S.] (8) vs. Wang Q. (18) -- It's good to be the queen yet for some reason I'm having flashbacks to Serena's loss at the US Open match against Roberta Vinci when she was on the verge of the calendar slam. Wang is an enigma. She's a technician on the court with decent power who doesn't play the angles and not necessarily trying to move her opponent all over the place.
Wang's wins and losses don't show a pattern as to the type of opponent she is likely to lose to. My take is that if Serena comes at her and doesn't try to play the sidelines, then Wang can't win.