June 29, 2011
Busted Racquet previews Thursday's women's semifinals at Wimbledon.
Azarenka will win if she:
1. Keeps Kvitova moving. Kvitova will get her winners. Azarenka needs to ensure that she keeps the Czech's unforced error total high, too. Keeping her on the run and playing defense could go a long way to Vika advancing to her first Slam final.
2. Is flexible. In the fourth round, Yanina Wickmayer went in with the same plan mentioned above and it failed her miserably in the first set. She didn't adapt in the second set. If Kvitova is hitting chalk, Azarenka will be content to get into a slugfest.
Kvitova will win if she:
1. Stays calm. Even in that victory over Azarenka, Kvitova admitted she let her emotions get the better of her during the match. "I was very nervous and perhaps that was the problem," she said of her shaky serves. The Czech said she had similar feelings during her quarterfinal win.
2. Holds serve. Duh, of course you need to hold serve. If Kvitova can get to a tiebreak, she's sitting pretty. The 21-year-old hasn't lost a tiebreak since March, a run of seven straight.
Sharapova will win if she:
1. Serves well. Sharapova has every edge in the match except the most important one. Her serve is consistent until it isn't and that usually happens during tense moments in a match. Those have been few and far between for Sharapova so far at the championships. What will happen to her toss and motion if she gets down a break or a set?
Lisicki will win if she:
1. Wins first service points. Lisicki has one of the biggest serves in the women's game. It helps her at Wimbledon; she's 9-2 lifetime at the event and 9-9 in the other three.
2. Doesn't get intimidated and defies history. This tournament was only Lisicki's second appearance in a slam quarterfinal. Her career earnings are less than the other three semifinalists had in the first six months of the year. No unseeded player has ever made the Wimbledon final in the Open era. Only five women have ever won after saving a match point in the tournament, something Lisicki did twice against Li Na. Despite all that, she hasn't once given off the appearance that she doesn't belong.