The mens matches yesterday went pretty much as expected. As I have been saying recently Murray just wasn’t prepared for this tournament and he came up against an opponent playing the best tennis of his life. I had tipped Stan to win at 4.10 for the SHARK TIPS service. I also went for him to win a set @ 1.60 but unfortunately that price wasn’t matched after I had posted in the morning so I won’t claim that as a winner.
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Djokovic finally lost a set as predicted in yesterday’s blog post but not too much should be read into that. It is common for a player who goes 2-0 up to relax and also to try to conserve some energy for the next round which often results in the underdog taking set 3.
Today we have the semis of the women’s tournament and first up is Azarenka v Pennetta.
I doubt anyone expected the Italian to get this far and she has notched up an impressive list of victims in Errani, Kuznetsova, Halep and Vinci.
Azarenka hasn’t hit top form yet and her serve in particular isn’t getting the job done. Pennetta should come into this match feeling she has nothing to lose and hopefully that means less nerves than we saw from her in the first set against Vinci. I would love to see her take a set from Azarenka which I feel is quite possible but perhaps not likely.
Look at how well Ivanovic played in the opening set against a poor Azarenka and yet “only” won the set 6-4. I don’t see Pennetta being able to hit as many winners as Ana did and i think the most likely outcome is straight sets for Azarenka.
I will wait for her to go a break behind in the first set.
Serena Williams leads the head to heads 8-2 although one of Li’s “wins” was due to a withdrawal from Williams.
They have played twice this season with Williams winning both in straight sets but they were all close sets. In fact in their most recent which was just last month in Cincinnati Li broke serve 5 times and served for both sets before losing 7-5, 7-5.
Williams has played well but hasn’t come up against anyone who can really test her. A lot of people thought Stephens was going to push her close and she did for a set before being put away easily in the second. In the quarter final Suarez Navarro was probably more scared of Serena than she was of the sabre toothed tiger that almost got her just before she was frozen in ice a few hundred thousand years ago. She failed to win a single game.
I think Li has an excellent chance of taking a set today but I’d expect Williams to go through to the final. Williams is worth a lay at the start.