Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AO Semifinal Predictions

I'm only previewing singles matches, unfortunately. I may focus on doubles, too, at the French, but that is a long way away. Anyways, I had better get started and I shall do so with the women first. Bear in mind that these are Slam Semis, so anything could happen. I'm just tryin' to guess.

Oh, here's a bonus for you.

Right, Stephens V Azarenka

"Challenge.. Maybe tennis will become interesting again. I've seen enough Serena to last a life"

Jennifer Capriati (@JenCapriati) January 23, 2013

Capriati said that on Twitter. Personally, I believe there was no malicious intent, but I wouldn't say it too often.

Stephens upset Serena in a massive upset. In fact, it was all over the papers everywhere, and she has tripled her Twitter followers, not to mention her number of fans in general. She has had a superb tournament and beaten a pair of players with top ten potential. Bojo (Bojana Jov'sky), who is making a lot of noise in the WTA -- not just a phrase, either -- and also Robson of GBR, who could be the Petra Kvitova of the future, power and game style-wise. She is playing the tennis of her life at the moment and I don't see her dropping out of the top twenty for a while yet if she manages to avoid injuries or similar. I do remember Gonzo on the men's tour withdrew from -- I think -- the 2010 Indian Wells to help Chile recover from an earthquake. But generally Stephens should be here to stay.

Azarenka has cruised through the draw like a majestic ship going through water. Could Sloane be the iceberg that sinks her? Perhaps. I'm aware that analogy wasn't that good, but, hey, I'm not perfect and I've been on a stupid sleep schedule the past few weeks. Watching Kuznetsova matches at one in the morning is not good for one's mental well being. Who else could play a perfect set and get broken to love serving at 5-1? Only Sveta. Well, anyway. Azarenka beat the resurgent Russian -- a seed at the French? -- in two sets, but it was far from easy. The contest lasted nearly two hours. These two have never played before and what a time to play someone for the first time. The Semis of a grand slam. Right, I think Sloane may nick a set. She actually plays quite a similiar game to Vika. In the end though? Vika should win in two.

Maria Sharapova vs Li Na

Li Na leads 2-1 on grass, with all those matches being played at Birmingham. Sharapova leads 2-1 on the clay and leads on the hard 5-1. The one match Li won on the hardcourts is questionable because Pova later withdrew with an ankle injury. Li has never beaten Pova on an outdoor hard court. The last time Li won was the 2011 French Open. Li Na matches up badly against the Supernova. She will have her work cut out for her here. This is her best tournament, though, results-wise. She traditionally hasn't liked the clay, which makes her FO win even more amazing. She has not dropped a set this tournament. Only these two and Andy Murray haven't lost a set. She is in her first semi final at this level since the 2011 French Open.

Pova has been unflappable. I think she has to be the favourite now that the one with the apocalyptic powers has crashed out. She Beat Li Na 6-3 6-0 at Miami and 6-4 6-0 at Beijing last year. She was pushed in a memorable match by Li when they played in the final of Rome. Pova is playing as well as she has ever done. I don't think people realise that Pova will turn 26 this April. I think, though, that she is one of the 30 greatest women to ever play our sport. But I also think her time on court has a use by date if you will. By 2015/2016 she may start to look for the Henin route. That is not my suggesting things and I hope nobody thinks they can tell Pova what to do. Anyway, Pova in two here.

Djokovic V Ferrer

The head to head is actually only 9-5 in the Serb's favour. There have been no withdrawals. They have only met on clay and hard. Ferru leads 3-1 on the clay but is 8-2 down on the hard courts. Ferrer has played Djokovic in two Aussie Open quarters. He has not won a set yet. He did run Djokovic close at the US Open, though. Even though the first set was in wind, it was still a marvelous effort. Ferrer edged Almags in five classic sets, which showed just how fragile Almags can be, although he did cramp and he did have other physical issues. He looks to be in pretty good form, although he is getting on a bit now.

Djokovic overcame a Herculean effort from Stan in the fourth round. He has had to do this the hard way. He had a fourth set blip against Berdych. He does look very good, though, and Ferru can't really hurt him, to be honest. I think in the end Djokovic will win in four long grinding sets.

Right, I owe my friend in Boston (MA) a phone call and stuff, but visit WTABACKSPIN...because Todd is awesome, and so is Eric and Diane and the rest.

Read more!


Post a Comment

<< Home