Predicted Winners in BOLD
Women’s Semifinal Matches
1Serena Williams vs. Simona Halep - I am not sure I need to explain anything about this prediction.
3Victoria Azarenka vs. 7Sara Errani - Based on clay court form, I’d take Errani, but I think the 2013 Australian Open champion and the World #1 are on a collision course. Azarenka in 2 close sets is my pick.
Men’s Semifinal Matches
2Roger Federer vs. Benoit Paire - Federer beat Paire easily in Madrid. I think this match will be closer, but Roger should advance in 2 close sets.
5Rafael Nadal vs. 6Tomas Berdych - This is the match of the day. Nadal should win. Still, Nadal has lost two matches on clay in 2013 and has dropped 2 sets to Ferrer and 1 set to Gulbis over the past two events. I have been bullish on Berdych’s form throughout 2013. I think Nadal will win in straight sets, but if any of these four matches is going to be an gem it is this one.
Predicted Winners in BOLD
5 Rafael Nadal vs. Pablo Andujar – If Andujar is ever going to win against Rafa, this is his chance. Nadal played 2 tough sets and a 3rd set versus Ferrer. Nadal is also seemingly a little rusty. The altitude in Madrid has never been to Rafa’s liking. Still, I don’t think anyone sanely picks an upset here.
6 Tomas Berdych vs. 15 Stanislas Wawrinka – Berdych to this point inb 2013 has outplayed Roger Federer and looks like a top 5 player. Wawrinka is on a serious roll. This is close to a 50-50 match, but I think Warinka is currently playing the best tennis of his career.
1 Serena Williams vs. 7 Sara Errani - Serena seems ripe for an upset, and Errani could do it based upon her runner-up finish at Roland Garros in 2012. Recent form seems to have little impact on how Serena will play in a given situation. I think Williams is close enough to the finish line in Madrid to win this semifinal.
2 Maria Sharapova vs. 16 Ana Ivanovic - Ivanovic has put together some decent results at different times since her brief stint at number one. I hope she gets back to the top five, but I am not going to bank on such a rebound at this stage of her career.
Victoria Azarenka (1) vs. Maria Sharapova (3) – Sharapova reversed her career troubles vs. Vika on clay this year. AA Sharapova win would not shock me; especially if Vika is drained either emotionally or physically from her quarterfinal match. Nevertheless, Vika dominated Sharapova on hard courts in big occasions twice this year.
Serena Williams (4) vs. Sara Errani (10) – Errani will have to play incredible defense and make her way to the net to have a chance at winning. I love Errani’s spirit, and she has had a great 2012. Her Grand Slam run in 2012 ends today.
I will have both of these up later today. As an aside, my 23 month old son is quite captivated by tennis. He is mimicking the Sharapova and Errani as I type.