The Women’s Semi Final Set Up

Jan 26, 2011

It is sad to see that Justine Henin has had to retire for the second time because of injury. But it sounds like it was definitely the best decision, with a recurring elbow injury causing her pain and putting her long-term health at risk. She was beaten in the third round by Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Australian Open, and it seemed to just be another early shock defeat. However, that seemed to be the last straw for Henin, and she has decided to leave the sport not long after deciding to come back. She will be sorely missed, and we will always wonder about the lengths that her sporting rivalry with Kim Clijsters could have got to.

Justine Henin left a draw that had been blown wide open; not only by her disappearance, but by the exit of Venus Williams too. Once again, the draw is dotted with players who all desperately want a first Grand Slam title, and now have a much better chance of doing so with two top players gone. The one who I imagine will make the most of this is Kim Clijsters. The Belgian beat Agnieszka Radwanska in a tentative 6-3 7-6 (7-4) quarter final, and will face Vera Zvonareva in the semi-finals.

Zvonareva met an unsettled Petra Kvitova in her last round, and she has gone through to the semis off the back of a comfortable win at 6-2 6-4.

On the other side of the semi finals, Caroline Wozniacki beat Francesca Schiavone for her place, battling from a set down to win 3-6 6-3 6-3. She had a struggle on her hands with the Italian French Open title holder, but Wozniacki found the strength to fight back from Schiavone’s barrage and exploit a good mental attitude that has done her well in this tournament.

China’s Li Na is seeded ninth, and beat Andre Petkovic 6-2 6-4 in her quarter fianls. She recently beat Kim Clijsters to win the Sydney International, and last year beat both Wozniacki and Venus Williams to make it to the semi-finals. She hopes to go one step further this time, and again it is Wozniacki who stands in her way. If I were Wozniacki, I would be worried about the challenge that Li Na presents. She has had an impeccable serve throughout this season and her perseverance has held in her good stead.

The semi-finals start tomorrow, and I’m not sure many could honestly say they could easily predict the make-up of the final. Once again, I have been left stumped by the women’s tournament. It certainly makes it an alluring – although vaguely predictable in the sense that top ranked players rarely feature – part of the Open atmosphere.

-          SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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