Friday, 16 March 2012

Indian Wells semi-final preview and predictions

Victoria Azarenka v Angelique Kerber - After a testing opening match with Mona Barthel, Azarenka has cruised through the draw and improved through each match.  In the semi-finals, she will play an in-form Kerber who will break the top 15 for the first time in her career following a routine win over Li Na in the quarter-finals.  This will be a first career meeting between the two and although Kerber has displayed superb defensive skills and a never-say-die attitude so far this week, I just cannot see how she can stop the Azarenka bandwagon from continuing.
Prediction - Azarenka in 2 sets

Ana Ivanovic v Maria Sharapova - Ivanovic has threatened at times this year but has finally come alive in Indian Wells beating Caroline Wozniacki and Marion Bartoli in the last two rounds.  Sharapova lost her first set of the tournament in the quarter-final where she had to use all her fight to get past Maria Kirilenko, 3-6 7-5 6-2.  Incredibly, this will be their first match since the 2008 Australian Open final when Sharapova was victorious; so much has happened in both their careers since that last encounter, I do not think you can take too much of that into account.  Ivanovic has looked impressive so far this week but to pull off a win over Sharapova in this semi-finals would really surprise me...
Prediction - Sharapova in 2 sets

Ana Ivanovic

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