Friday, 19 October 2012

WTA Moscow/Luxembourg: Semi-Final Predictions

Ana Ivanovic
Sam Stosur v Ana Ivanovic (Moscow)
The first semi-final on Moscow promises to be an interesting encounter between two of the most popular players on the tour.  Sam Stosur and Ana Ivanovic will square off for the fifth time and the first time since 2009.  Both had relatively straightforward quarter-final matches; Stosur defeated Klara Zakopalova, 6-1 6-3, meanwhile Ivanovic took out Vesna Dolonc, 6-4 6-1.  The head-to-head is even at 2-2 and all four matches have been decided in straight sets making this a difficult one to call.  Stosur was ropey in her first match against Alize Cornet, but she showed improvements today and that early test will help her out against Ivanovic tomorrow...
Prediction - Stosur to beat Ivanovic in 2 tight sets

Caroline Wozniacki v Sofia Arvidsson (Moscow)
Caroline Wozniacki knocked out the defending champion, Dominika Cibulkova in the quarter-final to set up a semi-final with Sofia Arvidsson.  Wozniacki was twice broken to love serving for the match in the second set when Cibulkova rose her level, but the Dane eased through the decider.  Arvidsson is having a superb week as she followed up a trouncing of Marion Bartoli with a solid straight sets win over Maria Kirilenko.  Wozniacki leads the head-to-head 6-2, but Arvidsson has certainly held her own against the Dane before and should have won in Indian Wells earlier this year.  However this surface is a match made in heaven for Wozniacki and she will make it into the final...
Prediction - Wozniacki to beat Arvidsson in 2 sets

Daniela Hantuchova
Daniela Hantuchova v Monica Niculescu (Luxembourg)
Daniela Hantuchova started the season in excellent form but an injury through the clay court season has sidetracked her season and she has really struggled the find her form again.  This week has seen a welcome return to form and her second round win over Kirsten Flipkens was particularly noteworthy.  Her opponent in the semi-finals will be Monica Niculescu, who has also seen a return to form as she beat another big hitter in Lucie Hradecka, 6-0 6-4.  Surprisingly, Hantuchova and Niculescu have never played each other so its hard to judge this one.  Niculescu is a tricky player with her crazy forehand slice that can throw some players off.  I think Hantuchova will struggle at first, but will eventually find a way through the Romanian to make the final.
Prediction - Hantuchova to beat Niculescu in 3 sets

Venus Williams v Andrea Petkovic (Luxembourg)
It is really great to see Andrea Petkovic winning matches again as she progressed to the semi-finals in Luxembourg with a straight sets win over Ksenia Pervak.  She now faces a much sterner test against Venus Williams who has had a terrific week so far and knocked out the number one seed Roberta Vinci in the quarter-finals with a 7-6 6-4 victory.  They have only played one full match in Eastbourne last year where Venus triumphed in a lengthy three set battle.  Both have lots to play for; Venus will want to confirm a seeding for the Australian Open, meanwhile Petkovic is just fighting to make the main draw! I backed Venus from the start and I still think she is the one to beat in Luxembourg.
Prediction - Venus to beat Petkovic in 2 sets

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