Serena Williams v Agnieszka Radwanska
The top two seeds, Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska have progressed to the Miami semi-finals where they will meet for their first clash of 2013. Serena has not been at her best this week as she fought back from 6-2 4-1 down against Dominika Cibulkova in the 4th round and then had to stage a second set fightback to defeat Li Na in a tame quarter-final, 6-3 7-6(5). Radwanska has also struggled to hit top form, but like Serena, showed some fight to come through her last two rounds where she fell a set behind to both Sloane Stephens and Kirsten Flipkens.
Radwanska’s quarter-final win over Flipkens sounded like an excellent match with the big talking point being her incredible hotshot, which you can see below… I love Flipkens’s reaction. The head-to-head for Serena-Aga is as you would expect, overwhelmingly in favour of Williams. In four matches, Aga has won one set, which came in the Wimbledon final when we can all agree that Serena got very tight. This court will offer Radwanska some opportunities and Serena is not playing at her best this week, particularly on serve. I’m still going for Serena though!
Prediction – Serena to beat Radwanska in 2 sets
Shot of the year so far from Aga?
Maria Sharapova v Jelena Jankovic
The second of the semi-finals is one I do not think many would have predicted as a resurgent Jelena Jankovic will play the in-form, Maria Sharapova. The 4th semi-finalist was always going to be difficult to predict with Victoria Azarenka‘s withdrawal, but I am surprised to see Jankovic there who has had a great week with straight set wins over Nadia Petrova and Sorana Cirstea, and a tough three set win over Roberta Vinci, 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Sharapova’s quarter-final was just one minute shorter as she was forced to rely on all her fighting instincts to get past Sara Errani, 7-5 7-5. It was an absolutely brutal encounter, both for the players on the court and for the fans watching. Errani is getting closer to a set in this match-up, but just couldn’t take her opportunities. Sharapova and JJ last met in Cincy in what was a hilarious final for many different reasons. Hopefully we get another dramatic match, but I think this is where Jankovic’s run will end…
Prediction – Sharapova to beat Jankovic in 2 sets