Miami Open 2016: WTA Semifinal Predictions

One Step Away:

The First Match Will Produce an Unexpected Finalist while the Second Will Tell us Who Won the 1st Phase of 2016 on the WTA Tour


[15] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) vs. [19] Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)

Both players have defied the odds in reaching the semifinal round.  There is a lot to like about Bacsinszky’s game and story.  Still, I think Kuznetsova has shown she is in fighting form this week.  If Kuznetsova maintains her recent level of play, I think her relatively complete heavy baseline game will lead to a tight straight set win.

[2] Angelique Kerber (GER) vs [13] Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

Azarenka won Brisbane and Indian Wells.  Kerber won the Australian Open and was runner-up in Brisbane.  They have split their 2 matches this year with Kerber winning their more significant match in Melbourne.  If Kerber wins this match, she will add at worst a Miami runner-up finish to her shocking Australian Open triumph.  This might be enough to cement Kerber’s status as a top tier player for the next 18-36 months.  If Azarenka wins, she will have a great chance at claiming her second consecutive really big title of 2016.  Both players have a realistic chance to finish 2016 ranked #1 in the world. Therefore, this duel takes on even greater importance.  A Vika win might make her Aussie Open loss to Kerber look like an anomaly on her comeback trail.  Kerber winning would send the message that their rivalry has changed at a fundamental level.

I think both players will know what to expect on court today.  Vika’s serve is slightly better than Kerber’s and her momentum from Indian Wells is real.  For that reason, I pick Victoria Azarenka to win in 2 close sets.

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