Serena Williams is two wins away from a 22nd Grand Slam title, which would be her seventh at the Australian Open. Her quest for such history is off to a dominant start, and that is exactly what it has been–a start. Until now, outcomes of her Melbourne matches have been little more than foregone conclusions. This one could be, too, but it should be tougher than Williams’ previous outings. The top-ranked American has coasted past Camila Giorgi, Su-Wei Hsieh, Daria Kasatkina, Margarita Gasparyan, and Maria Sharapova all in straight sets. Check out the Williams vs Radwanska H2H.
Up next for Williams on semifinal Thursday in a ninth career meeting with Agnieszka Radwanska, against whom the No. 1 seed is a perfect 8-0 lifetime. On hard courts the underdog Pole is 0-5 in matches and 0-10 in total sets. Their only previous Grand Slam encounters have come at Wimbledon, with Williams prevailing 6-4, 6-0 in the 2008 quarterfinals and 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 in the 2012 title match. The two veterans have not faced each other since the 2013 year-end championship in Istanbul, where the favorite cruised 6-2, 6-4. Despite the lopsided history, Williams is not taking Radwanska lightly.
“It will be a good match,” Williams commented. “She [was] playing really well towards the end of the year, and already this year she’s been very consistent. She presents a completely different game (from Sharapova)–an extremely exciting game. So I think it will be a long match and it will be a good match to see where I am.”
Radwanska for the most part has been coasting this fortnight, aside from one aberration in the fourth round against little-known Anna-Lena Friedsam (Radwanska survived that contest 6-7(6), 6-1, 7-5). She also owns straight-set victories over Christina McHale, Genie Bouchard, Monica Puig, and Carla Suarez-Navarro.
Radwanska can out-consistent almost anyone in the spot by keeping the ball in play and forcing opponents into long rallies. But that does not work–and has never worked–against Williams, who can finish points quickly with overwhelming power. Based on how Williams has looked so far Down Under, there is no reason to think she will allow this one to be overly competitive.
Prediction – Williams in straight sets
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