Makarova v Sharapova
Head to heads are 5-0 to Sharapova and Makarova has only managed to win one set from her. That was in their first meeting in 2011. They haven’t played since 2013 and it is only in recent months that Makarova has added consistency to the strong serve and ground strokes that promised so much in the past.
Makarova has won all 5 of her matches in straight sets.She won the second set against Halep 6-0. She played some exceptional tennis but Halep was not herself.
Sharapova has dropped just one set which was to Panova in round 2. Apart from that set she has looked very solid and even her serve has been pretty reliable.
Sharapova starts at 1.24 but Makarova has the game and self belief that comes from being a top 10 player and I think she can make a real match of this.
Lay Sharapova when she is an early break ahead. If Makarova should break first I will back Sharapova with part stake and add the rest after she holds.
I have to go with Sharapova to get the win.
Serena Williams v Keys
This is their first meeting
Keys has a thigh injury but still seemed to be moving fine against Venus. Serena has been struggling with a cold. She put everything into her match with Cibulkova who she perhaps saw as one of her biggest threats. There’s a chance Serena could be low on energy at least for 1 set.
Is Serena out for revenge for Venus’ loss to Keys in the quarter finals? This is a slam semi final and I’m sure she doesn’t need any more motivation than that. How she approaches the match depends on how she is feeling. If she still feels ill she may save her energy for a late break of serve in each set
I expect Serena to win as she has an amazing record in slam semi finals but Keys showed in the last match she can handle to big occasion.