Australian Open SF:
Maria Sharapova vs. Li Na
Maria Sharapova is showing glimpses of her 2008 form, where she trampled everybody en route to her first Australian Open title. Will Li Na be her next victim? Sharapova leads their heads-to-heads 8-4, with Li's wins all coming from an early post shoulder surgery Maria. With the injury behind her, Sharapova had since won the next 3 matches, including an absolute shit-fest last year in Rome. Given her red hot form in demolishing her previous opponents, you have to favour Sharapova. Li will have to play extremely clean tennis to upset the Russian, which I highly doubt so.
Pick: Sharapova in straight sets
Victoria Azarenka vs. Sloane Stephens
Azarenka must be thanking her gods for Sloane upsetting Serena. The Belarussian will liken her chances more against the inexperienced Stephens. That said, Sloane has nothing to lose and will go on court swinging. With her tremendous speed and monstrous forehand, Stephens really can trouble Azarenka. To play Azarenka, you need to mix it up and approach the net on good shots. Having a baseline battle with Victoria is really courting death. They have never played before, so it will be interesting to see how Azarenka handles another American which she has never met.
Pick: Azarenka in 2 tight sets