Friday, September 07, 2012

2012 US OPEN: Women's Semifinals Preview

Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals. This year I correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals. Here are my predictions for the women's semifinals.

Victoria Azarenka
 BLR (1) vs.  
Maria Sharapova RUS (3). Both players played some of the best tennis of the year against stubbon opponents in their quarterfinals to reach this point. Azarenka took out the defending champion Sam Stosur in the most exciting women's tennis match of the year 6-1 4-6 7-6(5). Sharapova had to come back from 0-4 down against the hard-hitting but peculiar Marion Bartoli, which she did by winning 3-6 6-3 6-4. This showdown is worthy of a grand slam final, and indeed these two played the Australian Open final earlier this year, which was won by Azarenka 6-3 6-0. Bizarrely, this was not the only time this year that Sharapova was blanked in an important final, losing the Wimbledon Gold medal match 6-0 6-1 to Serena Williams but she also had a high point by winning the French Open over surprise 2012 US Open semifinalist Sara Errani to completing the career slam. Azarenka and Sharapova have played 9 times, with the Belarussian possessing a slight 5-4 lead, including a 4-2 lead to Azarenka on hard courts. Azarenka has also won their only grand slam meeting (in the 2012 Australian Open final). Sharapova got revenge for that major final loss to Azarenka by winning the Stuttgart final but that was clay and this match will be during the day on a hard court in New York. The World's #1 player will prevail. Mad Professah's Pick: Azarenka.

Sara Errani ITA (10) vs.  Serena Williams USA (4) For the first time in my memory Serena was placed in the much easier half of the draw. The other half of the draw contained almost all the former and current Grand Slam champions except for Serena's sister who lost in the second round to another one of the most dramatic matches of the tournament to Angelique Kerber. Kerber is the last person to beat Serena, but the lefty German was taken out by Errani, her Italian opponent in two tight sets 7-6(5) 6-3. Errani is a fighter and makes the most of her slight frame but she can easily be overpowered, as women's tennis most powerful player ever will demonstrate quite easily as she reacher her 6th US Open final, and 19th major final, of her career. Mad Professah's pick: Serena.

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