Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Melbourne SF: A new champion will be crowned

Upset of the previous day:

Agnieszka Radwanska def. Victoria Azarenka 6-1 5-7 6-0

Nobody beats me 8 times in a row! Radwanska finally snaps her losing streak to Azarenka in an impressive display of smart tennis. There was not much Azarenka can do when Radwanska is playing this well, never making Azarenka settle into her rhythm. This is a strange performance though from Azarenka, as she should have expected what Radwanska will do as they have played so many times. Even though Radwanska lost that 2nd set, she composed herself brilliantly by whitewashing Azarenka in the 3rd. Will Radwanska win her first slam here. With this performance, it's not a surprise if she claims her maiden slam here.

Match focus:

Eugenie Bouchard vs. Li Na

The inexperienced Eugenie Bouchard will attempt to reach her first final in just her 5th major main draw appearance. Standing in her way is the powerful Li Na, who has reached the semifinals 4 times in the last 5 years. All signs point to a straightforward Li victory, but Bouchard has youth on her side. If she goes for her shots and makes it, Li might be in for a tussle. However, I believe the occasion is too overwhelming for the young Canadian, and Li will cruise to yet another easy victory.

Pick: Li in 2 sets

Dominika Cibulkova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska

After that dazzling performance against Azarenka, Radwanska is the hot favourite to reach the finals. She knows Cibulkova's game inside out, and has claimed 5 victories in 6 meetings with the Slovak. Radwanska's guile and variety is Cibulkova's nemesis, evidenced by last year's Sydney final humiliation. The only way out for Cibulkova is that Radwanska has an off day, and she herself plays lights out tennis.

Pick: Radwanska in 2 sets

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