??? US OPEN: SF #1 Prediction
?? (17) Serena Williams vs. ?? (19) Anastasija Sevastova
Whilst Thursday night’s first semi-final may look like a big of a mismatch on paper, I think the reality will be very different as Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova go head-to-head for the first time. Serena Williams has lost her last couple of US Open semi-finals and will be keen to avoid a third consecutive loss at this stage with a 24th Grand Slam title within touching distance.
I think this will be a really close match, I’m going to go for the upset. I think Sevastova will slice her way to victory. Sevastova is in career best form and seemingly primed for this occasion.
Interestingly, Sevastova is the first counter-puncher that Williams has faced all tournament. It can be argued that every single one of Serena’s first 5 opponents were very favourable match-ups, all 5 were opponents with little variety and predictable styles. Sevastova will be a completely new test, an even bigger challenge given the pair have never played before.
Sevastova will test Williams physically. Sevastova’s ability to maneuver Williams around the court with her unique mix of drop shots, slice and power will be key. Williams has struggled against players with great touch and slice in the past, Sevastova is the at the top of that category. When Williams took on an in form counter-puncher at Wimbledon she has smashed by Angelique Kerber in the final, her ability to overcome such an opponent is still unproven since her return. If Sevastova can get into extended rallies often enough and move Williams around the court, she can win this.