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Day 8 Pick 'Em

Petra Kvitova prepares to hit a shot during her quarter-final match against Serena Williams.
by Courtney Nguyen
Tuesday 3 July 2012

Serena Williams (USA) [6] vs. Petra Kvitova (CZE) [4]: This is the blockbuster, popcorn, pull up a chair, turn off your phone, call in sick, and make sure your cable bill has been paid for women's quarter-final match of the day. The last time these two played was here at Wimbledon, when Serena beat Petra in straight sets in the 2010 semi-finals. In fact, Serena is the last player to beat Kvitova here at Wimbledon, as the Czech superstar went on to win the Championships a year later. This is a great test for both players and if they both play well (they were pushed mightily in their fourth round matches), this one will feature some big serving and jaw-dropping hitting, two heavyweight boxers trying their best to land haymakers.

Pick: Serena in three sets.

Did you know.... Kvitova lost the first four matches she played on grass in her career. Since her 0-4 start, she is 20-3. The kid knows how to flip a switch.

Sabine Lisicki (GER) [15] vs. Angelique Kerber (GER) [8]: Auf geht's! This is the first all-German quarter-final at Wimbledon since 1987 and the first at any Slam since the Australian Open in 1989 - you know, the Steffi Graf days. Kerber may be the older of the two (and more accomplished in 2012), but Lisicki is the one with all the experience at Wimbledon, having made semi-finals and quarter-finals in her last two campaigns. But can the smiling Sabine recover from the emotional high from beating Maria Sharapova on Monday for the biggest win of her career? I'm not sure she can and with Kerber being so resilient and consistent this year, I have to give the elder German the edge.

Pick: Kerber in three sets.

Did you know... a year ago, Kerber was ranked No. 100 in the world.

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [3] vs. Maria Kirilenko (RUS) [17]: Many predicted a Russian Maria would be in the quarter-finals, but who suspected it would be this one? Kirilenko is the surprise quarter-finalist of the group, having never progressed past the third round at Wimbledon. She's an experienced, savvy player, and a very underrated competitor. She can grit her teeth and relish the fight as well as anyone. Radwanska has looked rock solid throughout the tournament, failing to drop a set through four matches. Her crafty game suits the grass and gives her even more options when it comes to touch and shotmaking. Radwanska has won their last four meetings dating back to 2010 and she seems to be healthy and confident. I'm tipping the Pole.

Pick: Radwanska in two sets.

Did you know... Radwanska is the only woman in the Top 10 to never make Slam semi-final.

Tamira Paszek (AUT) vs. Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [2]: Azarenka was scary good on Monday. Feathers were falling from the sky, she had to endure a rain delay, and she was up against a game opponent in Ana Ivanovic. No bother. She went on to win 6-1, 6-0 and seemed to mercilessly savor that scoreline, a clear sign that the intensity that carried her to her maiden title in Melbourne still burns. That was a statement win from Vika, and Paszek, who's been able to equal her quarter-final appearance from last  year, will have a tough time hitting through the Belarusian. Tactically that's her only option, as Azarenka, one of the best returners in the game, will jump on Paszek's serve and absorb her pace in the rally. Paszek has to keep the rallies as short as possible and go for glory.

Pick: Azarenka in two sets.

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