Well who’d have thought it… Sabine Lisicki and Jelena Jankovic will meet in the first of the semi-finals on Friday after both players turned the tables on miserable starts to 2015. This tweet sums it all up perfectly.
It’s nice to be able to get out my happy Sabine pictures again! Lisicki had never won a main draw singles match at Indian Wells before this year and had also won only one match on tour this year. In the space of one tournament, Lisicki has more than quadrupled her number of wins for 2015 with a sparking run to the semi-finals. In the quarter-finals, Lisicki saved three match points to oust the defending champion Flavia Pennetta, 6-4 6-7(3) 7-6(4) in two hours and 40 minutes. There were tears once more as Sabine sunk to her knees after converting the match point. It sounded like another fun match and there have been quite a few in Indian Wells. The one point I did see was the one in the final set that was shared all over Twitter…
The late night quarter-final couldn’t have been more of a polar opposite to the first one of the day as Lesia Tsurenko pulled the ripcord down 6-1 4-1 to hand Jankovic a place in the last four. An ankle injury picked up in her match with Eugenie Bouchard affected her movement and footwork. It was a real shame, but it took nothing away from what had been a great week for Tsurenko. Jankovic’s run hasn’t been as surprising as Lisicki’s, but it has still come somewhat out of the blue. Jankovic had won just two matches pre-Indian Wells although her form at this tournament has always been good having won the tournament back in 2010.
The Jankovic-Lisicki match-up has always produced intriguing matches; Jankovic leads the head-to-head 4-1 although all four of JJ’s wins came in three sets. Lisicki’s lone win came in Stuttgart in 2013, which was a match that ranked in my top 20 favourite matches of that year. I’m really on the fence with this one mainly because of Sabine. She has demonstrated at Wimbledon and in very fleeting episodes away from SW19 that on her day she can beat just about anyone. However, I’m still erring with caution despite this awesome week. Equally, Jankovic has played some great stuff this week. I watched the highlights for Jankovic’s fourth round match against Belinda Bencic, which was excellent. Based on the conditions, i’d give the edge to JJ.
Prediction: Jankovic d. Lisicki in 3 sets