Venus Williams vs CoCo Vandeweghe, Australian Open SF Preview

Australian Open, ?? Semi-Final #1 match preview
(13) ?? Venus Williams vs ?? CoCo Vandeweghe

A hugely unexpected semi-final clash at Melbourne Park features a battle of the generations when Venus Williams comes up against CoCo Vandeweghe. The two American’s head into Thursday’s semi-final with vastly different levels of experience at this level. Venus Williams will be competing in her 21st Grand Slam semi-final, at the age of 36 she has reached this stage at the Australian Open for the first time since 2003. Whilst this will be a totally new experience for CoCo Vandeweghe as she competes in her first ever Grand Slam semi-final. CoCo Vandeweghe has form on her side after some scintillating performances in the last couple of rounds but Venus Williams has experience on her side and is also playing good tennis.

Venus Williams has turned back the clock at Melbourne Park to advance to the semi-final stage for the first time in 14 years. Venus has advanced to the final four in style, coming through the draw without dropping a single set. Admittedly the 36-year-old has been aided by a very favourable draw, but Venus has done what she has had to do. Venus cruised through the first week of the tournament with wins over Kateryna Kozlova, Stefanie Voegele and Ying-Ying Duan. The second week has been a little more tricky for Venus but her experience and composure saw her come through unharmed, starting with a 6-3 7-5 win over Mona Barthel before beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 7-6 to secure her spot in Thursday’s semi-final. Venus playing well in all the important moments against Pavlyuchenkova, returning serve particularly well.

CoCo Vandeweghe is playing the best tennis of her career. The 25-year-old has always struggled with inconsistencies throughout tournaments and even matches but seems to have finally matured and is now a real force on the WTA tour. Vandeweghe has had an outstanding couple of weeks, the American’s draw has been extremely tough, she has had to beat some quality opponents to get to this stage. Vandeweghe advanced to the second week at Melbourne Park for the first time thanks to wins over Roberta Vinci, Pauline Parmentier and Eugenie Bouchard. It was in the next two matches where Vandeweghe really turned heads, Vandeweghe thrashed world number 1 and defending champion Angelique Kerber 6-2 6-3 before proving far too strong for Garbine Muguruza, securing her spot in the semi-finals with a 6-4 6-0 demolition of the seventh seed.

 

Venus Williams won the previous match between the pair, a 6-4 6-3 victory on the clay in Rome last year.

This is a really tough match to call, mainly because of the occasion. Vandeweghe is playing the better tennis and has beaten more quality opponents on route to this stage of the tournament. However, Venus is also playing good tennis, especially in her quarter-final win over Pavlyuchenkova. Experience is certainly on Venus’s side, and I think that will be the difference here. Vandeweghe mentioned that she was extremely nervous heading into her last couple of matches and that should be even more the case on Thursday. Venus is used to playing at this level and she will know that this might be her last chance to reach a Grand Slam final, Venus usually plays well against big hitters and I suspect she will be composed enough to win this one. Vandeweghe’s run has to come to an end eventually, she is not going to go all the way.

Prediction: Venus Williams to defeat CoCo Vandeweghe in 3 sets


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