Monday, 1 September 2014

US Open QF: Surprise semi-finalist Peng/Bencic

Upset of the previous day:

Ekaterina Makarova def. Eugenie Bouchard 7-6(2) 6-4

And the semi-final streak ends for the Canadian, as she was ousted by the big hitting Makarova. The Russian tried to choke it away, having served for the first set, but Eugenie didn't take her chances and paid for her mistakes. Bouchard also took an unusual medical timeout, which I believe was to disrupt Makarova's momentum. Sadly, it didn't work as Ekaterina punished Eugenie's serve in her last game. This is the 2nd straight year that Makarova has reached the quarter-finals. She has a real good chance of beating Azarenka, given how atrocious her performance was today.

Match focus:

Belinda Bencic vs. Peng Shuai

Nobody would have thought that these 2 players will be vying for a spot in the semi-finals. Peng is the more experienced player, but her mental strength has always been suspect. Belinda has the exuberance of youth, and has nothing to lose, so she will go into this match free-swinging. Nevertheless, I think Shuai has enough power to trouble Bencic. She will need to punish the Swiss's weaker second serve, and venture to the net to end the points. If the Chinese serves well like her previous matches, she is the favourite to win, unless her brain gets in the way.

Pick: Peng in 3 sets

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Sara Errani

Caroline's appearance here isn't really a big surprise given how well she performed in the warm-up events. Errani on the other hand, has been losing matches left and right. Her showing here is really out of the blue, which also shows how unpredictable the women's tour is. Caroline is the firm favourite here, but she will have to be the aggressor here. Errani's weak serves are begging to be punished, so Caroline should take the initiative from there. Once the Dane protects her serve well, and pressures Sara's service games, she should be the winner. A very good chance to make another final appearance for Wozniacki.

Pick: Wozniacki in 2 sets

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