Thursday, June 05, 2014

2014 FRENCH OPEN: Women's Semifinals Preview

The women's quarterfinals are now set at the 2014 French Open. Last year, I predicted 2 of 2 women's semifinals correctly and 1 of 2 men's semifinals correctly. This year I correctly predicted 2 of 4women's quarterfinals and 2 of 4 men's quarterfinals. Here are my predictions for the women's semifinals at Roland Garros this year.

Serena Williams (USA) [1]Maria Sharapova (RUS) [7] vs. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) [18]. For the fourth year in a row, Maria Sharapova is in the semifinals of Roland Garros. The Russian player is 52-4 on clay for the last three seasons and with
Serena Williams crashing out of the tournament early most observers have ceded the 2014 title to the #7 seed.  However, she still had to make it through the draw and she has been down but not out in her last two matches but in both cases once she won the middle set she was able to close out the matches by obliterating her opponent to win the last 6 games in a row. Bouchard also displayed her mental toughness to win her second consecutive major quarterfinal despite being down in all three sets against an accomplished Spanish clay court player. The Canadian youngster was able to sneak out the first set in a tiebreak after being down a double break and won the final set despite being down 1-4. Bouchard and Sharapova have very similar playing styles (see ball, hit ball; hit ball harder!) and so far in their two career meetings Sharapova has earned victories. Bouchard is clearly the real deal and the most successful of the up and coming group of Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Monica Puig and Elina Svitolina. She will have most likely have very many opportunities to successfully reach major finals but this is not one of them. Mad Professah's pick: Sharapova in 3 sets.

Andrea Petkovic (GER) [28] Sara Errani (ITA) [10] vs Simona Halep (ROU) [4].  Well this is a semifinal I did not think would occur since I predicted that the Italian clay court specialist  player to win her 3rd consecutive Roland Garros quarterfinal but instead the powerful German player blew Sara Errani off the court 6-2 6-2.
Halep eliminated 2009 French Open champion Sveta Kuznetsova more easily than I expected due to a left thigh injury the Russian suffered at some point which limited her mobility. That being said, even if Sveta had been at 100% I doubt she would have prevailed against the powerful, wily Romanian. These two have only met three times with Halep leading 2-1 but Petkovic is a completely different player now that she has returned from three serious injuries in two years. Even so, I expect Halep to be able to absorb Petkovic's power and give the German more than she can handle. Mad Professah's pick: Halep in 3 sets.
Both players are in their first major semifinal but Halep is #4 in the world and has been improving her result in every major tournament she plays. I fully expect her to reach her first major final and acquit herself well there.

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