Friday, 15 February 2013

WTA Doha: Semi-Final Predictions

The completion of the Doha quarter-finals saw the world's top four progress to the semi-finals and the first real blockbuster clashes for 2013 all set...

1. Victoria Azarenka v Agnieszka Radwanska
Victoria Azarenka
The first semi-final will see the continuation of the Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska rivalry.  It was at this tourmament last year when a friendly relationship turned sour after Radwanska accused Azarenka of bigging up an injury in their semi-final match.  Tensions may also be further stretched because Radwanska was Azarenka's pigeon last year.  The pair played each other six times in the first half of 2012 with Azarenka coming out on top in all six matches and with progressive ease too.  Radwanska avoided Vika from May onwards, but for the first time in 2013, she will have to work out a way past the Belarusian.

Azarenka was too strong for a sprited Sara Errani as she prevailed 6-2 6-2 in their quarter-final.  This was their first encounter in a couple of years following Errani's dramatic rise up the rankings, but the result varied little from their previous Azarenka bashings.  Radwanska had a slightly tougher test as she beat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-2 7-5.  Wozniacki was ahead at every stage of the second set, but was unable to convert her chances, including a set point.  It will be intriguing to see what tactics and frame of mind Radwanska takes into this match because last year she became extremely negative about facing Azarenka...

Prediction - Azarenka to beat Radwanska in 2 sets

2. Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams
Serena Williams made history today as she was crowned as the oldest world number one of the WTA rankings as she completed a marvellous comeback to defeat Petra Kvitova, 3-6 6-3 7-5 in the match of the tournament so far.  Kvitova showed some encouraging signs in this match, particularly in the first set where she was close to the peak of her game.  However she had some big chances in that final set and a win would have been absolutely huge for her.  Serena showed incredible tenacity and fighting spirit to rally when her game was not firing and she now faces Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals.

Sharapova reached the semi-finals with a straight sets win over Sam Stosur, 6-2 6-4.  The key thing to take away from her match was an excellent serving performance including 12 aces.  She has won all her matches in straight sets, but Serena is a whole new platform to leap up to.  Serena has owned Sharapova in their recent head-to-head although the Russian did get marginally closer in their most recent match in the YEC final where Serena won 6-4 6-3.  I originally went for Sharapova at the start of the tournament and I am in a cuandry now to change my mind! In Australia, I kept changing my mind and it went against me so I am foolishly staying with Sharapova to win this one.  Serena has looked slightly under the weather this week and stranger things have happened on the WTA tour...

Prediction - Sharapova to beat Serena in 3 sets


  1. i agree. sharapova all the way! in the big 3, she's got the most number of doubters. a win tomorrow will shut most of them. others will hate regardless

  2. I was not expecting anyone to agree so thank you!