From 128 to 4, the 2019 US Open women’s field has come down to this.

Bencic. Andreescu. Svitolina. Serena. Maybe not the final foursome many expected, but also an exciting mix of the game’s current and future stars. Whichever combination makes it to the final on Saturday, it’s sure to produce a blockbuster affair, and really, that’s all you can ask of grand slam tennis.

Read on for a look at both semi-finals on Thursday in NYC:

Both matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium – 7:00pm start

Serena Williams (USA) [8] v Elina Svitolina (UKR) [5]

As far as semi-final matchups go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find two players as different as Serena Williams and Elina Svitolina. With Serena, you’ve got a player who defines modern offensive baseline play, and has been regularly making this stage at majors since she was 17, while with Svitolina, you’ve got a consummate defensive baseliner, and a first-time semi-finalist at 24. Giving consideration to both the matchup and the moment, there’s a realistic chance Serena steamrolls like she did against Qiang Wang, but Svitolina is obviously a much more polished player than the Chinese, and if she brings the same level of tenacity she did against Jo Konta, the American is going to find her mobility severely tested, while being asked to play an inordinate number of awkward shots. With that in mind, expect either a straight sets win for Serena, or a grinding, dramatic three-set victory for Svitolina.

Belinda Bencic (SUI) [13] v Bianca Andreescu (CAN) [15]

Two women seemingly poised to feature at this stage of majors for many years to come, in a way it’s only fitting Belinda Bencic and Bianca Andreescu mark their semi-final debuts against each other. A first career meeting for the pair, this is a particularly tough match to predict, as while you can mostly expect Andreescu to play the role of puncher to Bencic’s counter-puncher, both have the sort of variety in their games to flip those roles in a second, and that will make this a contest decided as much by each’s ability to disrupt the other’s rhythm more than anything. That said, one key matchup to watch will be Andreescu’s cross-court forehands into the Bencic down-the-line backhand, and in what promises to be a very back-and-forth affair, whoever wins the battle there should be the one making it to their maiden grand slam final.


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