At the 2010 Miami Open the women’s quarter final main draw singles matches have now been completed with only 1 of the Top 4 seeds who were drawn to make it through to the semi finals surviving. The semi finals will commence on Thursday 1 April with the both halves of the draw being played on the same day for the first time this tournament.
The 1st semi final will be played on Stadium Court at 1pm Miami time and is between the No.13 seed Marion Bartoli and No.3 seed Venus Williams. The 25 year old Bartoli from France won the latest meeting between the pair in the Stanford final last year. This will be their 3rd encounter with the 29 year old Venus winning their first match, which was also a final – the 2007 Wimbledon Singles Championship match.
Bartoli is playing in her 2nd Premier Mandatory event semi final and has now made the semi finals at 2 of the past 3 Premier Mandatory events. The No.1 French woman is on the charge having won 7 of her last 11 matches when she has been up against a Top 10 player, so beating another is becoming routine. Venus will need to perform to stop Bartoli’s run which included a 6-4 7-5 win against 2009 US Open semi finalist Yanina Wickmayer and a demolition of the No.1 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the round of 16, 6-3 6-0.
The 1.85m Venus is playing in her 2nd straight semi final in Miami and is the hottest player on the WTA Tour this year with an 18 wins to 1 loss record thus far. The 7-time Grand Slam singles champion will be looking for the chance to play off for her 4th Miami singles title. The former World No.1 defeated the No.6 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 6-1 in the quarter finals to continue her march towards the No.1 ranking. The OCA prediction is Venus in 3 sets.
The 2nd semi final will start at 9pm on the Stadium Court and should be a fiercely competitive match between fellow Belgians No.14 seed Kim Clijsters and (WC) Justine Henin. The 27 year old Henin leads their previous battles by 12-11 including winning the last 5 in a row when they have met in Grand Slams. Their latest meeting was in the Brisbane final in January this year in which both players had match points but the 26 year old Clijsters prevailed in the final set tie-break. In finals when this pair square off the 1.67m Henin leads 7-3, so Clijsters seems to have the upper hand in matches like this semi final.
Clijsters improved to 3-0 against Samantha Stosur and kept her straight sets record in tact. Stosur played her most competitive match against the 1.74m Belgian before going down 6-3 7-5. Clijsters is a dual US Open singles champion who loves the hard courts in America. The 2005 Miami champion will fight long and hard to defeat Henin (who is pictured above), which sets the stage for a great battle.
Henin has the chance to become the best-performed player on the WTA Tour so early in her comeback, if she can move to 13-11 against Clijsters and win her first Miami title. Also, the 1.67m Henin would move inside the Top 20 from only her 4th tournament of her comeback. In true Henin style, after dropping the 1st set in her quarter final, the 7-time Grand Slam singles champion fought all the way to the end to post a 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 victory over No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki in their first meeting.
Clijsters has progressed more convincingly to date and the match could easily go either way but Henin has the steely resolve and dogged determination, which tilts the OCA prediction to Henin in another final set tie-break.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information and results at the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami for both the men and women’s events. Click this link for more details -> Miami 2010: March 22-April 4.
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