Thursday, September 05, 2019

2019 US OPEN: Women's Semifinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the women's semifinals at the 2019 U.S. Open Championships I will also predict the men's semifinals. This year I predicted 4 of 4 women's quarterfinals correctly and 1 of 4 men's quarterfinals correctly. Last year I predicted 1 of 2 men's semifinals correctly and 2 of 2 women's semifinals correctly

Belinda Bencic (SUI) [13] vs. Bianca Andreescu (CAN) [15].  Bianca Andreescu is the real deal. The Canadian teenage phenom is playing in her first major draw at the US Open and is in to the semifinals without playing her very best tennis. How? She has a big game, and she is incredibly mentally tough. She outlasted Angie Kerber to win the biggest title of her career at Indian Wells in March and she won another major tournament in her hometown of Toronto when Serena retired with a back injury. Speaking of injury, Andreescu will jump from outside the Top 100 to the Top 10 on Monday despite being injured for nearly 4 months this year! Bencic has her own amazing story. She reached the quarterfinals of the US Open way back in 2014 when she was even younger than Andreescu is now and a horrible sequence of injuries generally prevented her from achieving the results that were expected. The two have never played each other before so it is hard to know what will happen. Bencic has the guile and tennis IQ of  a Latter-Day Hingis but Andreescu has a supernova-hot desire to win and a powerful game to back it up. It should be an incredible match. PREDICTION: Andreescu.

Serena Williams (USA) [8] vs. Elina Svitolina (UKR) [5].  Serena was devastating in her 6-1 6-0 demolition of Wang Qiang in her quarterfinal match, while Svitolina was just a bit better on the big points to ease past Jo Konta 6-4 6-4 in her quarterfinal. Serena and Svitolina have played 5 times and Serena has only lost once, but it was the last time they played, at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Svitolina is a much better player since then, and is playing in her second consecutive semifinal. Serena is playing in her 13 US Open semifinal and has a 9-3 record at this stage. I am hoping that she is mentally prepared for this match, because Svitolina is similar to Halep (whom Serena lost badly to in the 2019 Wimbledon final) with great movement and the ability to not make errors while retrieving a lot of attempted winners. Hopefully Svitolina will not be affected by the fact that her boyfriend Gael Monfils lost his chance to reach another major semifinal in a soul-sucking 5th set tiebreak due to not one but two double faults against Matteo Berretini. It should also be noted that Svitolina beat Venus Williams in the second round, so if she were to beat Serena she would be one of the rare people to beat both sisters in the same major tournament. Regardless, if Serena is focused and patient, which she has basically looked in every match (except for the Round of 16 against Petra Martic) she should prevail. PREDICTION: Williams.

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