by: Nima Naderi

The final four on the women’s side has been set at the US Open, and Serena Williams’ quest for her 23rd Major is still alive. Gutting out a three set victory over Simona Halep on Wednesday night, the American will next face Karolina Pliskova for a spot in the finals. Elsewhere, Kei Nishikori turned in the upset of the men’s draw by defeating No. 2 seed Andy Murray in five thrilling sets, while Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro finished off the day in Ashe Stadium.

With the women’s semifinals set for Thursday evening, let’s take a look at each match and who should prevail.

Serena Williams vs. Karolina Pliskova

Winning their lone previous encounter back in 2014 at the Stanford event, Serena will be full steam ahead in this one as she aims for her 23rd Slam. Even though no one is giving Pliskova a reasonable chance at victory, it should be mentioned that she is on a serious winning streak after taking the title in Cincinnati. Possessing a big serve and a powerful forehand, the stoic demeanor of Pliskova should put up some resistance in the early stages of this contest. However, one wonders if the Czech player will already be satisfied with her result and pay day? If so, then this could be a two and two scoreline for Williams. If not, then I still believe that Serena will win, but the scoreline would be much closer. Whatever the case, it’s impossible to go against Serena at her home Slam against pretty much anyone. Serena in two.

Angelique Kerber vs. Caroline Wozniacki

In a head-to-head that has seen Kerber win seven of twelve matches against Wozniacki, this match up is not as clear-cut to call. Even though Kerber has played lights out this year, Wozniacki has had a great renaissance this fortnight by putting together a deep run. Finding her form by hitting through the ball as opposed to guiding her shots like she’s done the past two years, Wozniacki could surprise many in this contest with her result. That said, I just don’t see Caroline being able to produce a level that will ultimately take her to victory.

Kerber’s strengths are pretty much been set in stone: She’a a lefty, who opens up the court better than anybody, and her improved fitness allows her to track down almost every ball from every opponent. I do think that Wozniacki will have a decent shot in this match, but will eventually end up falling in three sets.


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