Tennis Predictions & Stats,

February 4,2023

Sharapova to play Li Na in Australian Open semi-final

Going into what all the pundits expected to be a very tough battle, Na Li held a 5-4 head to head advantage over Agnieszka Radwanska and the Pole also had a 5 to 1 losing record in Grand Slam quarter final matches, but Radwanska had beaten Li in their last match in the semis in Sydney, the week before the Aussie Open. Neither had lost a set in their first four matches. Li served first and after a 13 minute with 6 deuces opening game, held. The players had three breaks each but Li’s break to level at 5-5 was the most important, as she then held and got her 4th break to take the set 7-5. The set lasted for 66 minutes which reflects the long rallies of baseline play. In the second set Radwanska went 2-0 up before Li found a purple patch of superb tennis to take the next four games in a row. Radwanska, serving at 2-5 to stay in the match, held for 3-5, but Li went on to take the set 6-3 and book her place in the semis.

In the bottom half of the draw, Maria Sharapova took on her compatriot, 19th seed Ekaterina Makarova, who was confident in pre match interviews that she had a chance against the 2nd seed. Makarova had already taken out the 11th and 5th seeds, Marion Bartoli and Angelique Kerber, so expectations were high for a good match. Sharapova started slowly but got her first break in the 3rd game, only for Makarova to break straight back, but that was the last game she got as Sharapova closed out the first set at 6-2. The first game of the second set went to 5 break points for Sharapova, which she took on the 6th and she allowed Makarova only two games on her way to another 6-2 set and move into the semis where she will play Li.

Renay Freedman
Renay Freedman
WTA tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.

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