Wednesday, July 08, 2015

2015 WIMBLEDON: Women's Semifinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the women's quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2015. Last year I correctly predicted 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals2 of 4 women's quarterfinals, 2 of 2 men's semifinals and 1 of 2 women's semifinals. This year I correctly predicted 2 of 4 women's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals.

Serena Williams (USA) [1] vs. Coco Vandeweghe (USA) Maria Sharapova (RUS) [4]. After playing one of the best matches of the year against a 2-time major champion (Victoria Azarenka) in the quarterfinals, Serena's tough draw continues with a meeting with a 5-time major champion (Maria Sharapova) in the semifinals. One measure of just how great Serena is how well she matches up with her putative rivals. She is now 17-3 against Azarenka and is currently 17-2 against Sharapova. Famously, though, Serena lost her only other meeting at Wimbledon with the hard-hitting Russian, which was in the 2004 final. However in the intervening years (2005-2015) Serena has basically refused to lose, and has now won 16 times in a row, including in three major finals (2007 Australian Open, 2013 French Open and 2015 Australian Open finals). At this point the mental baggage is significant for Sharapova but the truth is that their games don't match up well. Serena has a much better serve, moves much better and can both handle and deliver powerful groundstrokes. The two have actually played at the All-England Club since their 2004 meeting in the finals. In 2012, they met in the Gold Medal match of the London Olympics and Serena demolished Sharapova 6-0 6-1. Honestly, I don't expect this match to be that lopsided but I don't think it will be close. After all, Sharapova lost a set against Coco Vandeweghe! PREDICTION: Serena.

Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) [20] vs. Madison Keys (USA) [21]  Agnieska Radwanska (POL) [13] These two players have met four times and they are tied 2-all, however Muguruza has won the two matches they played in 2015 while Radwanska played their two 2014 matches. This is Radwanska's third Wimbledon semifinal in the last four years she may be able to use that experience to get past another young, hard-hitting talent whom she really should be considered the underdog against. In her quarterfinal, Radwanska was able to absorb and re-direct the power of Madison Keys enough times to eke out the victory in three tight sets. Radwanska has the highest tennis IQ of any player currently on tour and probably the highest we have seen since Chucky Martina Hingis was #1. Tennis smarts are great but when wile meets wham I will put my money on power over placement. This is why I expected Keys to win their quarterfinal. Muguruza is a more nuanced player than Keys a better combination of strength and skill) and already has the earth-shattering result on her resume of a 6-2 6-2 win over Serena at the 2014 French Open. This is Muguruza's first major semifinal after she won her 3rd major quarterfinal so reaching her first major final would be a significant statement, especially for a Spanish player on grass. But in the spirit of Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario I believe that she can do it. Si ella puede! PREDICTION: Muguruza.

1 comment:

carter said...

Superb forecasting.
Now as to Saturday morning, well....
Per usual, Serena found the woodshed for Maria.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin