WTA Wuhan, Semi-Final Preview: Venus Williams v Roberta Vinci

Roberta VinciThe US Open finalist, Roberta Vinci has continued her excellent recent form and just like her last tournament, will play a Williams sister in the semi-finals… this time, Venus. It’s refreshing to see Vinci backing up that run in New York because to be honest, I expected her form to drop off after such a highlight. Vinci won just 11 matches in the first half of the season up to Wimbledon, but is close to doubling that tally for the second half of the year with three more tournaments still on her schedule. Vinci completed the double dispatch of Czech players in Wuhan, backing up her win over the defending champion, Petra Kvitova (7-6(3) 6-2)) with a near identical result against Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals, winning, 7-6(2) 6-3.

It was another super display from Vinci who was so secure on serve, dropping just four points on it in the second set. While some of that comes down to poor returning from Pliskova, Vinci looked so comfortable and played to her strengths. She looked very confident in the first set tiebreak and seemed to wear down Pliskova by the second set. Defending few points at the start of 2016, if Vinci can maintain this form then she may finally crack the top ten after coming so close back in 2013.

Venus toughed out a three set victory over Johanna Konta, recovering from a 3-5 third set deficit to prevail, 6-4 3-6 7-5 in an absolute thriller. I’m still finding it difficult to process these performances from Konta which are just so impressive. Although she was unable to serve out the match at *5-3, playing a couple of nervy points in that game, she was living with Venus from the baseline. Venus was tiring fast and her second serve was extremely laboured at the end with the points getting longer and longer. However, it was a typically tenacious and gutsy display from Venus who was also, surprisingly clutch as we’ve seen her stutter in the crucial moments of three setters over the past couple of years.

Konta played a poor game serving at 5-5 in the decider, spraying errors and getting broken on a double fault. The Brit came so close though to forcing a tiebreak but Venus mustered her last saps of energy to save three break points. Konta produced a magnificent drop shot-volley combo on the first match point but ran out of steam on the second with a groundstroke into the net. Venus gave a very hearty handshake, acknowledging the effort from her opponent which was nice to see. Venus still has a reasonable chance of reaching Singapore if she can win the Wuhan title. Vinci too, has put herself well within the running…

Venus leads the head-to-head against Vinci, 3-0 with wins in Miami (6-1 6-4, 2010), New York (6-4 6-1, 2010) and Luxembourg (7-6 6-4, 2012). Venus’s recovery will be key in this one because she looked pooped at the end of her quarter-final. Venus needs to be more proactive in this match and probably win in straights otherwise the task becomes a great deal harder. Fatigue could be an issue but we’ve seen Venus somehow claw her way through matches and tournaments, notably in Montreal last year where she played four three setters en route to the final. I think the first set will be crucial…

Prediction: V.Williams d. Vinci in 2 sets

Photo in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

15 thoughts on “WTA Wuhan, Semi-Final Preview: Venus Williams v Roberta Vinci

  1. This could go either way because both women love quick surfaces. Vinci could cause Venus all kinds of trouble if she brings her a game.

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  2. Roberta in 3 and a Roberta-Angie final. I know one of these predictions would turn back on me, most probably Angie’s 😦 Hopefully they’ll both.meet in the final.

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  3. I’m so shocked with Vinci right now … tbh, I’ve never thought she was a great player having seen her so many times easily beat. However, as we’re seeing even more in the women’s game, she’s experiencing a revival at the back end of her career. Congratulations to her but I think Venus has got this. Konta is something else. At this point, I don’t think anyone really expected anyone other than Watson and Robson to shoot up the rankings but here knonta is! Very well done to her; I hope she can take this form forward into 2016.

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  4. If Vinci beats serena and serena beats venus, then logic dictates that Vinci will beat venus. Too bad sports math don’t work like that. Venus to avenge her sisters loss straight set 6:1 7:6

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      • She is a nasty looking troll. She made that dig towards Serena . Guess what Serena has 21 grand slam titles and she has none, Venus has 7 and she has none and will never win one.

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    • She had the match in her hands and lost. You can forgive her being a bit stroppy. It looks as though Venus may have held Roberta up between serves on match point which would give her plenty of cause to be miffed, though she’ll know that she lost because of herself and not from that.

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      • do you mean anyone can do that if they have a match to lose? please give me a break. she is lousy and acts a big head after reaching USO 2015 final. Her luck won’t last very long. Period.

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      • What are you talking about? Did you see the match? You mean Venus should of close this match out 6-2 6-2. Venus had no right prolonging the game and Venus had a lot of balls that were in and was called out. So get your facts straight.

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