Wednesday, July 02, 2014

2014 WIMBLEDON: Women's Semifinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the women's semifinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2014. Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 2 men's semifinals and correctly predicted 2 of 2 women's semifinals. Because of rain delays, the two women's quarterfinals will be played along with all four men's quarterfinals. This year I correctly predicted 2 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals.

Serena Williams (USA) [1] Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) [13] vs. Simona Halep (ROU) [3]. For the 3rd straight major, World #1 Serena Williams has failed to make it to the second week, and not coincidentally Genie Bouchard is in her 3rd consecutive major semifinal.
The 20-year-old Canadian is not in the Top 10 yet but her results in the majors have been reminiscent of a Top 5 veteran. 22-year-old Halep is another player enjoying a meteoric rise in the rankings, now firmly ensconced at World #3 she has been improving her performance in the slams in the last year, reaching her first major final in Paris last month and surely feels it is her destiny to win a major this year. What happens when an immovable object meets an irresistible force? I think we are going to find out. The two have only met once before, on hard courts this year in Indian Wells, and Halep was a winner of a 6-4 third set. Almost certainly this match will rival the other two best matches of the fortnight (Venus Williams versus Petra Kvitova in the 3rd round and Angelique Kerber versus Maria Sharapova in the 4th round) for excitement, drama and quality; I can't wait! In the round before I thought Sabine "I Love Wimbledon" Lisicki would play her power tennis to find her ways past Halep and that was an unforced error on my part. After all Lisicki had defeated the reigning French Open champion in her last 4 Wimbledon campaigns, but after going down 1-4 in the first set, the Romanian rolled off 11 games to win as the German's game collapsed into spraying balls all over the court. Bouchard had a relatively routine victory over Kerber, still glowing in her amazing win over Sharapova the round before. I'm not going to make the mistake of betting against Halep again! PREDICTION: Halep.

Lucie Safarova (CZE) [23]  vs. Petra Kvitova (CZE) [6]. This should be a straightforward win by the 2011 Wimbledon champion, playing in her sixth major semifinal against a countrywoman playing in her first. However, Kvitova made her match against the 3rd Czech quarterfinalist Barbara Zahlavova Strycova much more complicated than it needed to be while Safarova demolished her Russian opponent, Ekaterina Makarova so this is unlikely to be an easy win. Kvitova has never lost to Safarova in five career meetings, but they met just days before Wimbledon started and the result was as close as can be: a 3rd set tiebreak. I still think Kvitova will find a way to win this match and reach her second major final, where she won her first major title a mere three years agoOne thing we know for sure is that a lefty Czech will be in the final, which should make Martina Navratilova happy. Lefties often hate playing against each other but I suspect that will be a bigger problem for Safarova than for Kvitova; after all there's a reason Lucie has never beaten Petra. Kvitova has been dominating on her serve and has the power to put most opponents on their heels. Safarova is not known for her mental toughness throughout the years but it is pretty amazing that she has made it through five rounds of Wimbledon without losing a single set. That streak will almost certainly not survive Thursday's match. PREDICTIONKvitova

1 comment:

carter said...

Bouchard for it all!
She seems like a woman possessed.
Wonder what odds Vegas would give to have the combination of Bouchard & Raonic as Champions.
When was the last time, meaning if ever, that both semis had Canadian participants?
I know no woman has ever, but both - what odds would those be?


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