Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2016 AUS OPEN: Women's Semifinals Preview

The women's semifinals are now set at the 2016 Australian Open. Last year, I correctly predicted 2 of 2 men's semifinals, 2 of 2 women's semifinals2 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals. This year, I predicted 2 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals correctly. I have also written a preview of the 2016 Australian Open Men's semifinals.

Serena Williams (USA) [1]  vs Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [4]. As expected, Serena continued her dominance over Maria Sharapova, despite a poor beginning which saw her down 0-2 but she quickly recovered for a routine 6-4 6-1 win, her 18th consecutive victory over her putative rival. Radwanska was similarly efficient against Carla Suarez Navarro in the other quarterfinal played two days ago, also winning in straight sets. Serena has never lost to the Polish player in 8 meetings and there's no reason why that should change now. But after Serena's heartbreaking (and puzzling) loss to Roberta Vinci we now know anything is possible, and Radwanska can replicate those low-bouncing slice backhands that gave Serena so much trouble in New York. However, now that there are no other major champions in the tournament, Williams can surely see her history-making 22nd major in her future, as well as her chance to possibly replicate Steffi Graf's Golden Slam of 1988 twenty-eight years later. Serena will take Radwanska seriously (Radwanska has won the most matches on tour in the last major tournament but Serena was M.I.A for that period) but her record speaks for itself. This is her 30th major semifinal (25-4) and she has never lost an Australian Open semifinal (or final). Mad Professah's Pick: Williams in 2 sets.

 Angelique Kerber (GER) [7] vs Johanna Konta (GBR) Venus Williams (USA) [8]. This was the match-up I did not expect to see, since I picked both of their opponents to win. I was convinced that Azarenka would continue her dominance of Kerber, but the German dug deep and came back from a double-break deficit in the second set to win the last five games of that set and the match. It was a streaky match at time from both players (Kerber had raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first set before Azarenka settled down and made the first set close). I'm happy for her and believe that she deserve to be a major finalist and a Top 5 stalwart. I guess there's magic in that #BackTheBrits hashtag after all. They have three British players in the 2016 Australian Open semifinals (Men's singles, Men's Doubles and Women's singles). I thought the qualifier from China would prevail since she was more mach tough and had played higher ranked opponents but Konta is fearless. Imagine is Venus Williams had not lost their first round encounter. Would the American be competing for a second all-Williams Australian Open final? Konta has a chance but I think the player with more experience will come through in the end. Mad Professah's pick: Kerber in 3 sets.

1 comment:

carter said...

Was Serena sleep-walking in the first 8 games of the second set, or just in her period?
Otherwise, business as usual.
Glad she opened up well, with a 21-minute first set bagel.
That was amazing.
Hope Konta comes through as a finalist. Her tournament has been amazing.


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