Whew, what a time to be a fan of women's tennis. The line up for Friday's semifinals are must watch tennis matches. The 4 ladies who have made it to the business end of this tournament are all deserving of being here. They have fought with grit, with focus and determination and they have competed better than the other women in the draw.
Semifinal No. 1 features former champion and No. 7 seed Maria Sharapova going up against Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.
This is being marketed as a match between two glamazons. I prefer to refer to it as the battle between two players who just refuse to lose. In her round of 16 match as well as her quarter final Sharapova was 2 points from being knocked out of the tournament. On both occassions she dug deep, gritted her teeth and was able to best her opponents in dramatic fashion. Eugenie Bouchard on the other hand came from 5-2 down in the first set, saved set points and won in a tiebreaker against Suarez-Navarro. She would lose the second set and be down a break in the third, regrouped and won that match, 7-5 in the third. This is what tennis is about. Competing until the last ball and these 2 women have done that all tournament long. The inexperience that Bouchard suffered in her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open will not make its appearance in this match. Coming off a tournament win a few weeks ago, Bouchard is not going to be happy to be here. She will bother Sharapova in that she will take away the time that Sharapova needs to execute. Bouchard hits hard and deep and if she is able to maintain that focus and intensity throughout the match, she will come away the winner. Sharapova, who has been here before is looking to capture another Grand Slam title on what has become her most successful surface. If her serve starts giving trouble as it did in the Muguruza match, she will have trouble as Bouchard is pretty solid on her own serve. I am going out on a limb and picking Bouchard in 3.
From the beginning of the tournament, I had picked Simona Halep to be a contender for this title. I felt that her time had come. To see her beating her best ever showing at a Grand Slam by making the semifinals of what is her favourite Grand Slam could not have come at a better time. She is yet to drop a set in this tournament and while she did have problems serving out her quarterfinal match against Kuznetsova, I don't think she is going to experience any nerves against her opponent. Andrea Petkovic. Is there a player more deserving to be at the business end of a Grand Slam. Talk about surprise semi-finalist. While I had pegged Petkovic to create an upset in this tournament, I can't stay that I figured her in the final four. Her take down of Sara Errani by moving in on Errani's woeful second serve and hitting winners at random was a master class display. Petkovic has not been here before and while it is fitting that she should be experiencing this resurgence after a year plagued with injuries, I can't see her besting Halep in this match. Halep in straight sets.