Wuhan Open, China
Women’s Semifinal: [CR18] Roberta Vinci (ITA) vs. [CR24] Venus Williams (USA)
It was almost a repeat of the US Open semifinal. Vinci had the opportunity to defeat another Williams. Strangely, an almost identical head to head record existed between Venus and Vinci as did with Serena prior to the US Open semifinals. Vinci had never defeated Venus in three previous matches and prior to the US Open semifinal, she had never defeated Serena in four previous matches. What has made Vinci more of a threat lately? Probably the experience gained from being a member of the number one ranked doubles team. They ended the year ranked number one for three consecutive years. Throw in a couple of unforeseen factors and Vinci has walked away the winner against players ranked much higher. Venus almost succumbed to her crafty skills today, although this was due in part to an injury Williams sustained late in the match to her left hamstring. Her mobility was compromised and her game was affected so much she almost lost it despite serving for the match at 5-3. Yet, Williams showed her determination once again, fighting off the pain as well as her opponent, she squeaked out the victory 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(4). Will she be in any shape to compete effectively in the final?
They know each other’s game very well. They have played against each other five times and Kerber had the slight advantage, leading 3:2. However, Muguruza had won their last two encounters coming into today’s match. Would Kerber re-establish her dominance or would Muguruza continue her recent dominance over Kerber? It was a closer match than indicated by the score. Kerber had opportunities; yet, she failed to capitalize. Despite the left ankle injury sustained late in the match, Muguruza rebounded nicely to seal it in a second set tiebreak. Muguruza will face Venus Williams in the final after her straight set defeat of Kerber, 6-4, 7-6(5). Both finalists will be hampered by injury, which player will make a better recovery for the final?