While the top half of women’s singles quarterfinals at the 2023 Australian Open features three Grand Slam champions, this bottom half has zero major titlists and two unseeded players. Let’s have a closer look at the quarterfinalists that are scheduled to take the court on Wednesday, January 25 at Melbourne Park.
Karolina Pliskova  vs. Magda Linette
Former world number one Karolina Pliskova has the best track record at majors of all the four quarterfinalists in her half of the draw, having played the finals of the US Open and Wimbledon. Magda Linette is the biggest surprise in the last eight, having never before been past the third round at a major.
Pliskova spent a total of just four hours and 33 minutes on court in her first four matches in Melbourne, the least of all WTA quarterfinalists, while Linette fought for two hours more. In addition, Pliskova is the leading quarterfinalist when it comes to the number of games lost en route to the final eight (18) and the number of aces hit so far this fortnight (28). By contrast, Linette has dropped 36 games en route to the quarterfinals, which makes her the worst performer in that respect.
We have to note that Linette overcame three Top 20 opponents (Caroline Garcia, Anett Kontaveit and Ekaterina Alexandrova), while Pliskova faced just one seeded player (seed No.23 Zhang Shuai in the fourth round).
Pliskova leads Linette 7-2 in head-to-head records. However, if we look at their only two recent meetings, we can see that Linette beat Pliskova in straight sets in the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals and Pliskova prevailed in the first round of the 2022 US Open in the tiebreak of the third set.
Prediction: Karolina Pliskova will advance to the semifinals.
Despite Pliskova’s dominant stats, the Czech has quite unnoticeably progressed through the draw. People are not talking about her, neither as a favorite, nor as an underdog. Even though the world No.45 Linette has recently proven her capacity to beat Pliskova, this time the odds are on the side of the more successful player.
Aryna Sabalenka  vs. Donna Vekic
World number five Aryna Sabalenka is bringing her eight-match winning streak into the quarterfinals, while Donna Vekic is unbeaten in her last seven matches on Tour. A three-time major semifinalist Sabalenka will try to stop Vekic from progressing into her maiden Grand Slam semifinal.
Sabalenka’s perfect start to the season and the fact that she’s yet to drop a set at the 2023 Australian Open are qualifying her as the top contender for the title. But, Vekic is a very big obstacle for the Belarusian. The Croat boasts a 5-1 head-to-head record against Sabalenka, including victories, although in three sets with tiebreaks, in their last two encounters — at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and at the San Diego Open last year. Sabalenka’s sole victory over Vekic came in the semifinals of San Jose in 2019.
Currently at position No.64, Vekic is the lowest ranked women’s singles quarterfinalist at the 2023 Australian Open. When it comes to the tournament’s ace leaderboard, she’s ranked third with 20 aces, just behind Karolina Pliskova and Elena Rybakina.
Prediction: Donna Vekic will make an upset.
This is obviously a tough one to call, especially because Sabalenka is the hottest player right now at the tournament, but we’re giving the edge to Vekic because of her dominant head-to-head record in matches on hard courts.
Do you agree with my predictions? Tell me your analysis and picks in the comments.