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Thursday, September 05, 2019

US Open 2019 Women's Semifinals Picks

US Open 2019 Women's Quarterfinals Picks RESULTS
Total:  2 Wins; 2 Losses

At this stage of the majors, there is much one can say about the remaining four players, particularly about their roads to reach this point.

Svitolina E. (5) vs. [Williams S.] (8) -- Can Serena move enough to close the holes Svitolina finds on the court and in her opponents' game? Serena leads the head-to-head 4 to 1. Neither player are who they were when they last met in the 2016 Olympics, Svitolina's lone victory. Svitolina is at the top of her game. Serena, though the dominant force when she's in a tournament, has experienced three straight championship losses at majors.

In this particular tournament, there is similarity in at least three of Svitolina's opponents: Venus Williams,  Madison Keys and Johanna Konta. All three are power players, to different degrees, whose court movements do not match Svitolina's. Svitolina not only absorbed their power, she baited them into a game where they thought making her move laterally was the key to victory.

With Serena, the power level is a notch higher but much like Simona Halep who defeated Serena at Wimbledon, Svitolina is now a great counterpuncher. So, Serena should not aim to hit by her. She should aim to hit through Svitolina by having her defend multiple shots from a set position.

Bencic B. (13) vs. [Andreescu B. V.] (15) -- Both players got let off the hook by their opponents in the quarterfinals. For Bencic, it was an emotional reprieve in the first set where she was on the verge of a meltdown. I'm not certain what caused her to start to have a negative conversation with herself. She had been up a break on Donna Vekic and gave the break back. Neither player was playing a great game but it was competitive and the set went into a tie-breaker, that Bencic won. From there, she went on to win the second set 6-3.

For Andreescu, down a set and her serve failing her, Elise Mertens dropped her intensity and lost the second set. In the third set, Andreescu was either on the edge of exhaustion or doing a "rope a dope". Mertens weakened both mentally and physically, losing the set 6-3

This is not to say that Bencic and Andreescu did not earn their victories. Both players have proven to be strategic forces on the court. In some aspects they are very much alike: all-around games, have all the shouts and decent power.

For this, their first matchup, the advantage is to Andreescu because she has more speed and is able to turn from offense to defense much quicker - within the point.

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