Saturday Semi-Finals set, Shanghai, Linz and Osaka Predictions

Wow… this has been a great week of predictions for Moo so far! Let’s hope it continues…

1. Juan Martin del Potro v Rafael Nadal (Shanghai, SF)
Juan Martin del Potro
One more win will see Juan Martin del Potro officially qualify for the World Tour Finals in London, but to achieve that feat in Shanghai will take a herculean effort as he takes on the newly crowned world number one, Rafael Nadal.  Del Potro struggled against Philipp Kohlschreiber in his first match on Wednesday because of a fever, but a timely walkover from Tommy Haas in the third round gave him the chance to recover and he was in fine form to dispatch suddenly-relevant-again, Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals, 6-3 6-3.  Nadal had a really tough opening set with Stanislas Wawrinka today as he saved numerous set points and broke the Swiss man’s spirit with a 12-10 tiebreaker that lasted 21 minutes before rolling to a 7-6(10) 6-1 quarter-final victory.
Nadal leads the head-to-head by 8 wins to 3; their last encounter was on the hard courts of Indian Wells where Nadal came from a set down to beat DelPo in a fantastic final, 4-6 6-3 6-4.  Nadal has played a lot of tennis of late, meanwhile DelPo seems to be peaking after a solid run in Tokyo.  I question whether the gentle giant has the belief in himself to beat Nadal, but he really should do because his game is magic when it’s on song and he looked in great form today.

Prediction – Del Potro to beat Nadal in 3 sets *brave, bold & potentially stupid, but going for it*

2. Angelique Kerber v Carla Suarez Navarro (Linz, SF)
C.Suarez Navarro
The line-up for this year’s season-ending-champs in Istanbul has been decided as Angelique Kerber snapped up the last spot by virtue of her reaching the semi-finals of Linz with a comfortable 6-3 6-0 victory over Patricia Mayr-Achleitner.  Kerber now faces Carla Suarez Navarro in the semi-finals as she overcame a potentially tricky affair against Kirsten Flipkens with minimal ease, 6-1 6-3.  Kerber and Suarez Navarro played each other in a gripping last 16 match at this year’s US Open where CSN enjoyed arguably her biggest win of the year as she came through in a third set tiebreak.  There are different circumstances this time round and a completely different court.  Kerber’s done all she needed to do and I wonder how focused she will be on claiming the title.  I think that Kerber, with a newly found vigour from her successful stint in Asia, will work her magic and make the final.
Prediction – Kerber to beat Suarez Navarro in 2 tight sets

3. Sam Stosur v Madison Keys
Sam Stosur
The two highest ranked teenagers on the WTA tour have both had stellar weeks in Osaka and will have a super chance to win their first title.  The talent coming through in the line-up of women is exciting for the tour and it would set up 2014 perfectly to see one of Madison Keys or Eugenie Bouchard win Osaka.  Keys has the trickier semi-final match against Sam Stosur; the American has blitzed her way through the draw, taking out Zhang Shuai and Zheng Jie in the last two rounds for the loss of just 8 games.  In fact she lost just 3 points in the second set of her match with Zhang.  Stosur has had a very solid week, which she needed after a dire run of form through Flushing Meadows and Asia.  She fought off Misaki Doi in 3 sets today.  Stosur and Keys have played once before earlier this year in Indian Wells where Stosur produced a composed performance to take out the American in straight sets, 6-3 6-4.  Keys should make this a much tougher match and I would not be surprised to see an upset.

Prediction – Stosur to beat Keys in 3 tough sets

Best of the rest: ATP Shanghai Semi-Final Prediction
Novak Djokovic to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2 sets

Best of the rest: WTA Linz Semi-Final Prediction
Ana Ivanovic to beat Stefanie Voegele in 2 sets

Best of the rest: WTA Osaka Semi-Final Prediction
Eugenie Bouchard to beat Kurumi Nara in 2 tight sets

12 thoughts on “Saturday Semi-Finals set, Shanghai, Linz and Osaka Predictions

  1. I must disagree Moo! For me Nadal can only lose in 3 sets to Djokovic and even then 2 sets seem more probable imho. Del Potro certainly has the game to conquer anybody if matches were 1 setters? In this scenario he might be the no.1 ATP player given he came out with his better tennis from/since the coin toss? If he's in good shape he'll have Nadal pinned to the wall using him as a dart board in the 1st set. He threw a perfect 180 in Us Open 2009! You might even find Nadal grunting uncharacteristically from the beginning of his 1st service game. Btw this would be terribly flattering flettering to Del Potro. Usually only Novak is awarded this great honor in the 1st set(also Federer and sometimes Murray) and even so on occasion. But since then Nadal has been less willing to be Del Potro's 'sport' for 2 straight sets. He'll gradually loosen the nails which bind him-a gruelling and painful process for both players. Prometheus theory. Difference is this Prometheus can unleash himself given time(usually less than 2 sets) (I'm sorry I forgot the name of the person who's credited with this theory) AACHOOOO!!!!!! woops-excuse me. Hope its not already patented for something else like a syndrome.For Del Potro there will be a growing terror that this savage blood lusting gladiator might set himself free before he can slay him with the proper rituals. So what will del Potro do in the 2nd set after winning the 1st? hmm….what can he do??? just keep throwing more darts. With his high risk but clinical approach to the game he'll give away at least one break point although many more will be offered like Rober DeNiro tea shirts in a mini-flea market from a street corner of Little Italy(32nd street 1 block west of Broadway,Manhattan,New York). Only 1 break point will be needed for Nadal to escape and breath his first gasp of fresh air and freedom. After all its what he's been praying for for so long. Rejuvenated while his opponent is disgruntled and they're back to square one at one set a piece. So? what happens in the 3rd? Well lets just say with all regrets aside and this savage barbarian/monster hot in pursuit,at some point the gentle giant(Del Potro) will be on the ground groping for the keys to the mercedes which he gave to his sister. ANy number of questions can be running through his mind at this moment when he's on all 4's:where are the keys to the mercedes? why did I have to win the 1st set? to be or not to be a semi-finalist against Nadal? why did i give the Mercedes to my sister? Finally as he approaches Nadal after Match point he thinks to himself:'next time for the 1st set I might try skewering him on a spit instead of pinning him to the wall'and he actually chuckles at the thought in one last deft manoeuver of false diplomacy-the hall mark of every top 2 player. As the 2 embrace walking along the net towards the sunset/chair umpire he whispers to Nadal's ears amidst the jubilee of the stadium:'You're lucky we play-more than 1st set…'Nadal:'I know Martin…I'm sorry…' (Lip reader's translation from Spanish to English)

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  2. Well Nadal has shown more vulnerabilites than usual. He's in a grazing period after the US Open. Maybe he's hoping to reserve his best for Djokovic. I think it should be a closer contest than in Beijing but playing an in-form Delpo in Semi's often ruins the chances for a person to win the final. But then again its Nadal. You know? Playing Delpo might have the opposite effect! the guy(Nadal) is a freak.

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