New Haven Open 2012: Showcasing Favorites Heading into Quarterfinal Round

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2012

NEW HAVEN, CT - AUGUST 22:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns a shot to Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden during the New Haven Open at Yale at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale on August 22, 2012 in New Haven, Connecticut.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

With just one week before the women of the WTA tour descend upon Flushing Meadows for the 2012 U.S. Open championship, the fanfare for the 2012 New Haven Open has been understandably lacking.

Most of the top stars on tour, including Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, all decided to forgo traveling to Yale, taking time for some much-needed rest and recovery.

Not taking a rest this week is former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who came into New Haven looking to win at Yale for the fifth straight season.

And with the top-ranked player in the field, second-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska, retiring in the second round due to a shoulder injury, the bracket for Wozniacki may have just cleared up.

But there is never any shortage of talent at any WTA stop, and there are still plenty of viable options to take down the 22-year-old.

With that in mind, let's check in with the remaining favorites as we head into the quarterfinals of the 2012 New Haven Open.

Caroline Wozniacki

The four-time defending champ has once again looked in fine form in New Haven, taking care of Ekaterina Makarova and Sofia Arvidsson in straight sets.

It just hasn't been her easiest Yale road so far.

Arvidsson took the 22-year-old Danish star to a tiebreaker in the first set as Wozniacki struggled to get started early. But Wozniacki recovered from the early-match scare and wiped the floor with the Swede 6-2 in the second set.

Her early-round victories set up a quarterfinal contest against sixth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, who also won her first two matches in straight sets.

If Wozniacki is able to stretch her New Haven winning streak to 20 matches and come away victorious against Cibulkova, she should take home her fifth straight championship and be red-hot heading into the U.S. Open.

Sara Errani

It hasn't been the easiest road to the Italian's two straight-set victories so far in Yale, but Errani has gotten the job done, and that's all that counts.

The 25-year-old fourth seed had the good fortune of avoiding Wozniacki's half of the bracket and will play against fifth-seeded Marion Bartoli in the quarterfinals.

Bartoli has been inconsistent all tournament, losing 6-0 in the second set to 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens before recovering for a 6-3 tiebreaking set in the second round.

If Errani can take advantage of Bartoli's inconsistencies, she should be able to take down the French youngster and move on to the semifinals.

Petra Kvitova

The only problem with Errani avoiding Wozniacki's side of the bracket is that she will likely land the world's No. 10-ranked Kvitova in the semis.

After receiving a bye in the first round as the Open's second seed, Kvitova made slight work of 19-year-old Nicole Gibbs in her last match and is a -250 favorite (via to take down Lucie Safarova in the quarterfinals.

If Kvitova is able to continue her stellar year on tour so far and advance to the finals, she presents by far the biggest threat to Wozniacki taking home her fifth straight New Haven Open.