The beginning of this season was very consistent with many important victories. He is on WTA 23rd place, being in a visible return of form. In 2018 he scored the final in Luxembourg, defeated by Julia Goerges and winning the ITF tournament in Las Vegas at the end of the year. His game has been oscillating in the last seasons, suffering a long series of injuries that have made it out of pace.
In a three-set contest, Vondrousova upended Simona Halep with her all-court game. Perhaps the tight matches and extensive court time will serve to sharpen her game, or perhaps the fatigue will creep in. Against Marketa Vondrousova, Svitolina has little margin of error. The Czech teen has that rare combination of power and finesse, combined with whip-smart shot selection. Her third round win came in straight sets, but it took her nearly two hours to defeat her former doubles partner. Running her side to side, tempting her into futile runs for delicate dropshots, Vondrousova outplayed #2 seed Simona Halep. After a first round bye, it took a contentious, three set match for her to move on to the third round. I dont see Vondrousova leaving just yet. Svitolina has had to play through some stiff competition to reach the quarterfinals. Pitted against Ashleigh Barty in the Round of 16, it took three close and combative sets to claim her quarterfinals spot. There have been no easy passes along Elina Svitolinas route to the quarterfinals.
Bianca Andreescu has been on a tear. She just chalked up her 25th win of 2019, more than any other player on the WTA tour. I dont think the big stage is too big and this red-hot player will not be cowed by this big moment. Well see plenty of momentum shifts, but I expect to see the Canadian outlast Muguruzas upswings and move on the semis. The Canadian teenager has won 14 of her last 15 matches and shes booked a spot in her third straight quarterfinal. And thats not just at Indian Wells.
Serena has split her last two matches on indoor hard court. Serena won 65 percent of her total service points and saved four of her five break points. If Serena is going to get so many free points with her serve this early, she has to be a strong favorite to win the Australian Open thats rapidly approaching. In the victory, Serena won 78 percent of her first serve points and 45 percent of her second serve points. Serena Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Maria Sakkari that took 21 games to decide. Serena can still be sharper with her serve overall, but its encouraging to see that she hit 13 aces in just her second match in about four months.
Bencic then defeated Donna Vekic in a close straight-sets match in the quarter-finals, winning by a 7-6 6-3 score line. The Swiss ace has only dropped one set throughout the tournament, and so shes still going to have plenty left in the tank for this match. Bencic began with a straight-sets win over Mandy Minella, before fighting past Alize Cornet in a three-set battle. Belinda Bencic is into her maiden grand slam semi-final, and shes playing some fantastic stuff right now. The twenty-two-year-old received a walkover victory in round three, before stunning world number one and defending champion Naomi Osaka in straight-sets, in the fourth round.
The biggest weakness on the court will be Bencics second serve, Venus will put huge pressure on the vulnerable Venus serve. The question is, can Venus execute her game? Venus Williams knows that she will not have many more chances in Melbourne. I think she will. Clearly this is a good match-up for Williams given she has won all 4 of their previous matches. The American will head into this match sharp and prepared. I think Venus has the game to expose the weaknesses in the Bencic game. Venus has significantly improved her game in recent times, she can serve better than Bencic and she is more dynamic and powerful from the baseline.
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It took more than two-and-a half hours of extended rallies for Muguruza to chalk up the win and take out Bertens. Had Serena Williams not withdrawn, I doubt Garbine Muguruza would be here. If she wants to see the semifinals, she need to come out of the gates at full force against the tournament-tough Canadian. Her play started slow against Williams and again against Kiki Bertens.
Never have I seen such an open field at a tournament of this stature. Now, some unexpected challengers have shown up. With Simona Haleps and Naomi Osakas exits, the two top contenders are out. I doubt anyone expected Marketa Vondrousova or Bianca Andreescu to here but, here they are!
Bianca Andreescu has also been terrific in deciding set matches this season, winning her last 12 successive deciding set matches this year. These two have both played great stuff at the tournament so far, and this match has all the hallmarks of going the distance. While both are playing well, Bianca Andreescu looks that little bit better right now, and shes the favourite coming into this. The Canadian ace has won her last 12 matches, while shes also an impressive 4-1 in semi-finals this season. Bencic, on the other hand, has a losing record in semi-finals this season.