Wimbledon Tuesday: Quarterfinal Time
Published July 01, 2013 12:01
LONDON, England - Despite a plethora of upsets this fortnight, Wimbledon's quarterfinalists include last year's runner-up here, Agnieszka Radwanska, and two former Grand Slam champions, Li Na and Petra Kvitova - all of whom have as good a shot as anybody to raise the winner's trophy on Sunday.
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #4) vs.  Li Na (CHN #6)
Head-to-head: Li leads 6-4
The two highest seeds left in the draw, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na, are very familiar with each other, having played 10 times. Radwanska has won two of their three clashes on grass, but Li has won two of their three encounters at Grand Slams and four of the last five overall.
While Li endured two straight three-setters in the second and third rounds, no one posted a more dominant scoreline in the fourth round than her 62 60 rout of Roberta Vinci. Radwanska has also survived two three-setters this fortnight, those coming in the third and fourth rounds. Both players have plenty of experience in the late rounds of Grand Slams, with Li's résumé highlighted by a title at the 2012 French Open and runner-up showings at the 2011 Australian Open and 2013 Australian Open, while Radwanska was a runner-up here last year. Li has won each of her last three Grand Slam quarterfinal matches in straight sets, the most recent of those coming against Radwanska en route to that Australian Open final in January. Radwanska is just 1-7 in the quarterfinals of Grand Slams but is the only player to have made the quarters at all three majors this year. The Pole is looking to end a run of four straight losses to Top 10 opponents.
 Marion Bartoli (FRA #15) vs.  Sloane Stephens (USA #17)
Head-to-head: Bartoli leads 1-0
Sloane Stephens has a habit of rising to the occasion in Grand Slams. She has only reached four WTA semifinals, yet one of those occurred at this year's Australian Open. She came into Roland Garros not having won three straight matches since the Australian Open, but managed to get to the fourth round. Then despite being extended to three sets in three straight matches, she finds herself in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. But she will have to improve her form if she wants to upend Marion Bartoli, her first Top 60 opponent since the first round.
Bartoli went all the way to the final here in 2007 and also was a quarterfinalist in 2011. One of just two quarterfinalists yet to drop a set this fortnight, the Frenchwoman has also had what one might call a friendly draw, having not played someone ranked higher than 70th until now. In her one previous match-up with Stephens at New Haven last August, Bartoli was victorious in three sets despite a 6-0 loss in the second set. Another win over her would be her first in four tries against Top 20 foes in 2013.
 Sabine Lisicki (GER #24) vs. Kaia Kanepi (EST #46)
Head-to-head: First meeting
After her shocking defeat of Serena Williams in the fourth round, Sabine Liscki will be trying to avoid a similar letdown to the ones other players who have pulled off big upsets this fortnight have suffered in their following match. For instance, a round after beating World No.3 Maria Sharapova, Michelle Larcher de Brito went down, as did Petra Cetkovska after upending former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, Eugenie Bouchard after defeating former World No.1 Ana Ivanovic and Vesna Dolonc after taking down former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic.
One such player to avoid that fate has been Lisicki's quarterfinal foe, Kaia Kanepi. After eliminating World No.7 Angelique Kerber in the second round, the Estonian has kept her winning form going - most impressively doing so in holding off Britain's Laura Robson and a partisan crowd in the fourth round. That made Kanepi 5-0 in the fourth round at Grand Slams, but in each of those cases she went on to lose her quarterfinal match, so she will be trying to end that trend. It will be no easy task against a player who relishes this event, as Lisicki's history here includes a semifinal run in 2011, quarterfinal appearances in 2009 and 2012 and at least another quarterfinal showing this year.
Around the grounds…
The only former Wimbledon champion left in the draw, Petra Kvitova, plays someone who has yet to surrender a set this tournament and who has won two of their three meetings, Kirsten Flipkens. However, this will be the Belgian's first Grand Slam quarterfinal.