Australian Open 2014 – week 2, Thursday

Three semi finals are played tonight.

In the men’s we have Wawrinka against Berdych.

Wawrinka is playing his second slam semi final. He lost at this stage of the US Open last season. Djokovic was the man who put him out and Wawrinka got some revenge by knocking out the defending champion in 5 sets.

Berdych reached the final of Wimbledon in 2010 where he lost in 3 sets to Nadal.

This one won’t be over in straight sets.  You would be forgiven for thinking that Berdych will have an edge on the faster court but I’m not so sure. In the quarter finals they were both playing strong defenders and Wawrinka hit 17 aces to Berdych’s 10.

Wawrinka leads all the stats for the last 3 months except service holds.

Beating a top player can result in a let down for the next one. However Stan is establishing himself as also being a top player and he wold have been justified in expecting a good performance against Djokovic having taken the Serb to 5 sets in last year’s tournament and also at the US Open.

Berdych has dropped just 1 set whereas Wawrinka has lost 3. However Stan didn’t have to hit a ball in the third round when Pospisil withdrew. Golubev also retired during the second set of their opening round encounter. Berdych has played 2 more sets in the tournament.

Wawrinka starts at 1.78 which looks about right. I have him to win in 4 sets.

 

LI Na needs one more win to equal last year’s achievement. She lost in the final in 2013 to Azarenka and with Aza, Serena and Sharapova all having lost she has a strong chance of grabbing the title.

What a tournament Bouchard is having. Ivanovic was her biggest scalp. She has shown her fighting qualities when she came back from a set down in both her last 2 rounds. The nerves have been kept under control so far but I  think we have to see her struggle at the start o the match.

Li Na had a very comfortable quarter final win over Pennetta that showed just how well she is striking the ball.

Hopefully Bouchard can make a match of it to give us a better price to back Li. 3 sets won’t be a surprise.

 

Cibulkova and Radwanska both played incredibly well in their quarter finals. Cibulkova also knocked out Sharapova in the previous round.

Radwanska beat Azarenka in 3 sets. She leads the head to heads over Cibulkova 5-1.

I am not convinced that Cibulkova has another high quality match left in her.

Radwanska leads the head to head 5-1. She starts at 1.49 but I feel we will see a higher price. She has added a little more aggression to her game and I am going for her to win the match in 3 sets

 

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