Rome 2010 Women’s Semi Finals

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The 2010 Rome Internazionali BNL d’Italia women’s singles quarter finals were played last night. Today both semi final matches will be played on Campo Centrale beginning at 4pm local time in Rome. As predicted in the previous post, Serena, the 2 Serbians and the rising Martinez Sanchez won through to the semi finals. The OCA predictions are at 11 out of 12 for the past 2 rounds, including picking all 4 winners correctly in the quarter finals.

The 1st match of the day saw the 27 year old Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez continue her storm up the rankings over the past 8 months and constant improvement by reversing the result at Miami this year. The 1.76m left hander achieved her best career result in a Premier FIVE level tournament by making the semi finals after having too much variety of shot and a great array of point combinations for Lucie Safarova. Martinez Sanchez won 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 in 1 hour and 43 minutes.

The last quarter final was played in the night session and pleased the crowd as the 22 year old Ana Ivanovic beat the 3rd seeded player she has played in Rome. The 1.86m Serbian defeated No.14 seed Nadia Petrova 6-2 7-5 in 1 hour and 16 minutes to improve on what was already her best career result in Rome. The 2008 French Open champion continues to turn performance level that earned her the World No.1 ranking and has not yet lost a set.

The 2nd quarter final match saw the 28 year old No.1 seed Serena Williams display too much fire power and point ending combinations for the slightly built Maria Kirilenko. The 2002 Rome singles champion won 6-1 6-4 in 1 hour and 18 minutes to improve to 3-0 against Kirilenko and continued to raise her level of play as she plays more matches. Once she gets to the semi final stages of tournaments she becomes very tough to beat.

The 3rd match of the day saw the shorter, lighter and less powerful of the 2 former World No.1’s hand out possibly the worst beating that the No.4 seed Venus Williams has suffered. The No.7 seed Jelena Jankovic moved to 6-5 in their head to head encounters after her very impressive 6-0 6-1 59 minute win. The 1.77m dual Rome singles champion looks like she may add a 3rd Rome title to her credit in the past 4 years if she can maintain her tremendous hot streak.

The 1st semi final is between Serena and Jankovic with Serena leading their head to head now 4-3 after winning their past 2 matches. The 12 time Grand Slam singles champion is raising her aggressiveness and confidence which is critical to her success on the slower clay courts. The 1.75m American won Rome in 2002 and will need to continually take the game up to Jankovic to make sure that her agility, court movement and court coverage is not exposed on her least favourite court surface.

Jankovic has far greater agility, court movement and speed than her opponent but will need to prevent Serena form controlling the points. Jankovic does not give away too many points so the key will be to make Serena have to try to hit her winners whilst she is on the run and from as far away from the net as Jankovic can push her. A final set tie break would be a perfect way for this match to be decided. This is a must see match that really could go either way.

The 2nd semi final is between Martinez Sanchez and Ivanovic who have never played against each other before. This will be an advantage for the left handed under dog in this match. Ivanovic is pictured above getting into position to play her double handed backhand drive.

Ivanovic has her confidence back which is making all the difference because it is allowing her to swing freely and really drive her ground strokes and let her racquet fly through her serves. This match will have a bit of everything, including the serve and volley tactic on clay, so will be fun to watch.

Both players have achieved their best result in Rome, yet a win to Martinez Sanchez would mean the world to her. Ivanovic has won big titles before and will have to be really focused to make sure she does not lose the 1st match she will be the favourite to win.

Martinez Sanchez plays with such variety including her changes of pace and frequent mixture of spins and depths of shot that you could see Ivanovic’s love of pace and rhythm being thrown off. The key to this match will be whether Ivanovic can dictate the points and put her opponent on the defensive in order to blunt her creativity or not.

The women’s singles semi final draw in Rome is:

  • (1) (WC) Serena Williams v. (7) Jelena Jankovic (4) Venus
  •  (3) Safina Ana Ivanovic v. MJ Martinez Sanchez (2) Wozniacki

The players name that is bolded is OCA’s prediction of who will win each match. The players names who have  a line drawn through them, are the seeded players who were expected to have reached the semi finals, but have been eliminated from that spot in the draw.

Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information about Rome. Click this link for more details -> Rome 2010: Apr 24 – May 8.

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