- How great is the WTA product looking these days? With so many young women coming up from the juniors and so many of them making their names in the Majors this year, I think the WTA is putting itself in a position where it could very well be that they will again draw even bigger ratings than the men.
- Caroline Wozniacki. It was just a few short years ago that she ruled the WTA. I have no idea what has happened but it is remarkably frustrating to see her not even make the second week of a Major. Believe this was her last chance to make a Slam semifinal as she was given a kind draw.
- Welcome to prime time Camila Giorgi.
- What has happened to Julia Georges?
- Sabine Lisicki is becoming the next Tsevtana Pironkova and that is not a title that a player with the game of Lisicki should ever aspire to become.
- The non-retirement of Marion Bartoli. Why not just take a break and savour the moment of fulfilling your life’s work?
- I don’t know if I missed it but it was great to listen to the commentary on a women’s match and not ever hearing anything about the shrieks, grunts, howls etc. The commentary was about the 2 women on the court giving their hearts and soul in order to capture a Major title. I am happy.
- Venus Williams is a Legend. She may not have the career of her little sister, but what she brings to women’s tennis cannot be measured in terms of titles or monetary value. When you become a role model and mentor to young women without having to try very hard, then you know that you have come a long way baby.
- Victoria Duval is an amazing young woman, poised, articulate and so focused. Lots of work needed on her game but taking out the 2011 USO champion, no matter how poorly Samantha Stosur played, says a lot about her mentality. The fact that she aspires to become something other than a tennis player is remarkable as well.
- Sloane Stephens. She played the first 4 games of her match against Serena like the Sloane that we all know can become the next big thing in tennis. She says that her aim is to finish the year in the top 10. It seems that Sloane is more about rankings watch than she is about standing on the podium receiving the top prizes. Baby steps are required, but I would have preferred if she spoke about results, rather than the ranking. If the results are there the ranking will come.
- Flavia Pennetta is not my favourite player but how awesome was it to see her playing again and doing so well. Losing in the semifinals to the second best hard court player this year is nothing to sniff at.
- Simona Halep. I think she was very disappointed with her results at the USO. Perhaps no New Haven and she could make a run for it next year.
- Petra Kvitova 😦
- Andrea Hlavackova – She won the doubles title with her partner and fellow Fed Cup Czech mate Lucie Hradecka defeating Serena and Venus along the way. Also, she won the mixed doubles with Max Mirnyi, who won his first two with Serena and Vika. First player to win both in a Slam since Cara Black in 2008 (doubles with Liezel Huber)
- Daniela Hantuchova – She made the quarter-finals which is a good accomplishment after losing in the first round for five straight Slams even though her draw was not difficult.
- Victoria Azarenka – Despite losing again in the final to Serena, she did well by making the final despite not playing her best tennis.
- Alison Riske – She received a wild card and made the organizers proud by making the fourth round defeating Petra Kvitova in the process.
- Until the final, the match of the tournament was between Carla Suarez Navarro and Angelique Kerber where a third set tiebreaker determined the winner and the raw emotion of Suarez Navarro after winning.
First up is Flavia Pennetta. At this time last year Flavia was home in Italy recovering from wrist surgery. At the beginning of the year she contemplated retirement at the end of this season because her results were so poor. At 31 years young, Flavia is into her first Grand Slam semifinal. Her road to the semifinal included wins over 2 time Major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, countrywoman Roberta Vinci and the hottest player of the latter part of the season, Simona Halep. Flavia goes up against the World No. 2 and 2 time Major champion and last year’s beaten finalist, Victoria Azarenka.
Azarenka has not had an easy time of it. She has struggled throughout this tournament, playing back to back 3 set matches against inspired opponents Alize Cornet and Ana Ivanovic. She had a routine win over Daniela Hantuchova in the quarterfinals but again her serve, which has never been her biggest weapon failed her when called upon to do duty. Azarenka has got to the semifinals through grit and just plain cussedness. She just refuses to lose. She will have a battle on her hands with Pennetta who will be playing as if she has nothing to lose.
The head to head is 1-1 with Azarenka winning on clay and Flavia on hard courts. They have not played since 2011. I think this is going to be an exceptionally tough match for Azarenka just because Flavia did not know she could get to this point in her career. Now that she is here, she will want to go one step further. If she is ever going to get to a Major final, now is her chance. However, with the grit that Azarenka has shown this tournament, she will be battling long and hard to ensure that she makes another US Open final with hopes of walking away with the trophy.
Spin’s Pick – Azarenka in 3
The second semifinal features the No. 5 seed, Azarenka. She looks fit and focused and her game has taken on a new dimension. She is playing much closer to the baseline, her serve has improved and she has been coming to net on almost every point. She battled hard in her match against Makarova and her lapses during that second set cannot happen against the player that she is going up against, that would be Serena Williams.
Na Li . By all accounts Li has not had a successful season. She made the final of the Australian Open and won a small tournament in her native China. However, for most of the season she has been battling an ankle injury that she suffered during the Australian Open final against
Both ladies played recently in Cincinatti with Serena coming away with the win. During that particular match Li showed off some of her serve and volleying skills but as the match wore on she abandoned that particular strategy and went back to basics. Neither strategy worked effectively against Serena.
Serena Williams has looked unbeatable during this tournament. However she is doing doubles duty this tournament and her play the last two times I have watched her in doubles seemed a tad lacklustre. It could be that she was conserving energy, but Venus has looked the more formidable of the two on the doubles court. That being said, in her round of 16 match against Sloane Stephens, especially the second set, as well as her quarterfinal match against Suarez-Navarro, we saw vintage Serena when her game is firing on all cylinders.
Serena does not underestimate any opponent and I am sure she will be reminded of her match against Li a few weeks ago.
Spin’s Pick – Serena Williams in straight sets
Ekaterina Makarova v Na Li
Ace’s Matches to Watch today on Day 8
Alison Riske vDaniela Hantuchova
Welcome to prime time Camila Giorgi. Below is how she beat former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki
If Wozniacki wishes to be taken seriously about playing aggressive tennis, there is no way that you hit 13 winners in a match that goes the distance. No way. Nuff said
Ace’s Matches to Watch
Serena Williams v Sloane Stephens
Carla Suarez Navarro v Angelique Kerber
Agnieszka Radwanska v Ekaterina Makarova
Jelena Jankovic v Na Li