Thursday, July 12, 2018

2018 WIMBLEDON: Women's Semifinals Preview (and Predictions)

Here are my predictions for the women's semifinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2018. This year I correctly predicted 2 of 4 men's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 4 of 4 women's quarterfinals. Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 2 men's semifinals and 2 of 2 women's semifinals. I will also predict this year's men's semifinals.

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [12] vs. Angelique Kerber (GER) [11]. This should be a great match; the two major champions have never met before on the WTA tour! Kerber played one of the best matches of the tournament in her straight sets win against Daria Kasatkina. Ostapenko has reached her second career semifinal (first at Wimbledon) by not dropping a set and blasting winners into the corners over and over again. Can she continue to do this against one of the great defensive players in the game? We shall see. My default position is usually that great offense wins against great defense, which would indicate Ostapenko has the better chance to reach her first Wimbledon final but I just think that Kerber has shown that she has what it takes to get to major finals, having reached three of them in the same year (2016), winning two, just two years ago. However, she hasn't face Ostapenko before, so maybe all our expectations need to change. PREDICTION: Kerber.

Julia Goerges (GER) [13] vs Serena Williams (USA) [25]These two played a rather good match at the French Open just a few weeks ago and many of us were actually surprised Serena was able to come away with the win because it demonstrated just how quickly she was returning to a high level of play. Goerges has become one of the top players on tour; she reached the Top 10 this spring has been hovering just out of that circle for the last few months. But appearing in the Wimbledon semifinal is the first real tangible result of her rise in the rankings to show itself at the majors. I think it is very likely the occasion of being there will provide enough of an impediment to her playing er best tennis that it will make what should be a tough matchup for Serena not as complicated as one would expect. PREDICTION:  Serena.

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