Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2019 AUS OPEN: Women's Semifinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the women's semifinals at the 2019 Australian Open. Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 2 women's semifinals and 2 of 2 men's semifinalsThis year I have correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals and  correctly predicted 4 of 4 men's quarterfinals. I will also predict the men's semifinals this year.

Serena Williams (USA) [16] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) [7] vs. Naomi Osaka (JPN)[4].  Wow! One round after outlasting the World #1 Simona Halep in a very high-quality 3-set match Serena Williams led Karolina Pliskova 5-1 40-30 in the 3rd set when she was called on a foot fault on match point. After serving she played a point where she rolled her ankle and from then on she could not win a point on serve. Serena ended up having 4 match points in all and losing all of them (generally on outstanding play by her opponent). Once the score was even at 5-all Serena still couldn't hold serve and was broken at love and then saved 2 match points before losing on her 3rd. So, former World #1 Pliskova will face off for the right to play in her first Australian Open final with the reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who dismissed Elina Svitolina in straight sets. Pliskova and Osaka have played 3 times and Pliskova leads 2-1, including a tight straight sets win in the Tokyo final. Pliskova was impressively impassive against Serena today but I still give the edge to Osaka because of her experience and the fact I think she's a better athlete. PREDICTION: Osaka.

Petra Kvitova (CZE) [8] vs. Danielle Collins (USA).  Danielle Collins has already won more money here by reaching the semifinals than she has in the rest of her career combined. She is playing against a 2-time major champion. Amazingly, these two players have played once before (just a few weeks ago) and Kvitova won a relatively tight 3-set affair featuring two tiebreak sets. In this match which is much more important I would be shocked if the player with more experience does not make it through. PREDICTIONKvitova

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