Wimbledon, Day 8: Ladies' Singles Quarterfinals Preview

After the glut of tennis on Monday, it's quality over quantity time the rest of the way at Wimbledon.  That's the idea, anyway.

Tuesday's Day 8 action features all four Ladies' Singles quarterfinals, and no Gentlemen's Singles matches.

With no matches on outer courts, play starts an hour later than it has before at 1 PM London time (8 AM EDT).

1. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) vs No. 2 Venus Williams (USA) -- This is a dangerous match-up for Venus, who lost to Pironkova in the first round of the 2006 Australian Open.  Pironkova never capitalized on the enormous potential and ball-striking ability she showed in that match, and is definitely overdue for the slam run she's been having during this tournament.  Still, Venus is the far more talented and experienced player, especially when it comes to the business end of Wimbledon.  Prediction: Venus in 2.

2. No. 8 Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs No. 21 Vera Zvonareva (RUS) -- After an impressive win over her nemesis Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters seems poised to make her first Wimbledon semifinal since 2006.  Zvonareva is in her first Wimbledon final, thanks largely to a soft draw (two qualifiers) and an injury to her fourth round opponent, Jelena Jankovic.  Clijsters is the more consistent and faster of the two, and the more emotionally balanced (as is everyone in comparison to Zvonareva).  It should be a pretty convincing win. Prediction: Clijsters in 2.

3. No. 1 Serena Williams (USA) vs No. 9 Na Li (CHN) -- The two played an extremely tough semifinal at this year's Australian Open, with Serena winning in straight sets despite an injury to her right knee.  Although she's been playing phenomenally well this tournament, this is a rough draw for Li, who would be considered the clear favorite against Pironkova, Zvonareva, Kvitova or Kanepi.  But if she's ever going to win a slam, she might as well earn it.  No one has been playing better than Serena in this tournament, but Sharapova did have three set points against her.  I think Li will be able to take it one step further and actually win a set, but no more.  Prediction: Serena in 3.

4. Petra Kvitova (CZE) vs Kaia Kanepi (EST) -- As anonymous as this match-up is, it's actually the second time the two have met in the second week of a slam.  Want to catch the highlights of their previous slam encounter, from the fourth round of the 2008 French Open? Too bad.  Despite being an extremely close match that was postponed on its first day due to darkness and lasted longer than any other women's fourth round match that year, the two had to play on a non-TV court.  Kanepi went on to win that match 6-1 in the third, but Kvitova won their most recent encounter in a third set tiebreaker, in Memphis this February.  I've seen more of Kvitova's matches, and have been extremely impressed with her form, so I'll say she takes this one as well to make this a true grand slam breakthrough.  Prediction: Kvitova in 2.

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