There are just four women left vying for the coveted Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows and we will be crowning a first time Grand Slam champion, with none of the four remaining women having won a Slam title before! AND two of the women left in the draw are still teenagers, what a treat for tennis fans to see what’s to come in the future of women’s tennis.
In each of the semi finals we have a seeded, more experienced player facing off against an unseeded, younger player. So it will be very interesting to see in each match which type of player will progress. Will the pressure of being the seeded player and expected to win the match get to Sabalenka or Sakkari? Or will we see the fearlessness of youth and unknown style of play help Fernandez or Raducanu advance to their first Grand Slam final?
In our women’s quaterfinals tennis picks we went 3/4 – can we back it up with great results in the semis. So, who will come out on top and make it through to the final? Have a read below at our tennis picks for the two semi final matches on the women’s side of the draw!
Leylah Annie Fernandez vs Aryna Sabalenka (2)
Unseeded Canadian, Leylah Annie Fernandez, will look to make it through to he first ever Grand Slam final, and standing in her way is the highest seeded women left in the draw, Aryna Sabalenka. Fernandez has earned the well deserved title of the giant slayer here at the US Open. She has successfully taken out the 3rd, 5th and 16th seeded players, but in doing so she has had to play three matches that have gone the distance. Apart from Sabalenka’s first round match, she it yet to drop a set, and she is also vying for her first ever Grand Slam appearance.
Is there anything this Canadian qualifier can’t do? Ah what we would give to be 19 again! After successfully navigating through three qualifying matches, and five matches in the main draw, she still doesn’t look like slowing down. Looking at her other Grand Slam appearances this year, she was knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open in straight sets, she was knocked out in the second round at the French Open in straight sets, and at Wimbledon, she was knocked out in the first round, in straight sets. Fernandez is truly playing out of her skin, and wasn’t even able to say she got an easy draw to make it through to the semis. Remember the name, you’ll be hearing it a lot for many years to come, and we think she is in with a good chance to win this match.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 7, 2021
Sabalenka didn’t really look like she was playing her best tennis in her quarterfinal match against Krejčíková, her serve was all over the place, with seven double faults to just five aces, and she was leaking unforced errors. It was still more than enough to get the win against Krejčíková, who certainly wasn’t feeling 100%. Despite never making it to the big dance in the singles draw, she has done so before in the women’s doubles with Mertens, so she will have that experience to draw on as she fights for her first singles Grand Slam title.
Despite the massive difference in the rankings, both women are likely to be feeling just as nervous as each other, as they are both vying for their first ever Grand Slam appearance. It is Sabalenka that is the clear favorite for this match, and all the pressure will be on her. We could see in the quarterfinals match, the pressure was starting to get to Sabalenka, and this will only get worse in the semi final. On the other side, there is no pressure on Fernandez at all, she has already dramatically exceeded expectations, and she is not expected to win this clash. Fernandez has shown she can stand up and beat the big names in the sport, and it isn’t just a fluke, or an off day for her opponent, she is the real deal and will give Sabalenka, who is not the best under pressure, a run for her money.
Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari (17)
The young Brit, Emma Raducanu, looks to continue her incredible form and make it all the way through to the US Open final when she takes on the 17th seed of Maria Sakkari in the semi final. Having a fairly comfortable draw up until the quarterfinals, Raducanu showed that she can beat top players no problem, after she completely dismantled the 11th seed, Bencic’s game in straight sets. After coming through the qualifiers at the US Open, Raducanu has won eight games in a row in Flushing Meadows, all in straight sets! On the other side of the net, Sakkari has won all matches bar one in straight sets. Her Round of 16 match, against the 6th seed, Andreescu, was the only time the Greek was really pushed throughout this tournament.
Raducanu has all the confidence in the world, and absolutely zero pressure. At only 18, she has got her whole career ahead of her and knows she will have many more chances in the future to fight for Grand Slam titles. So, will this be the time for the Brit? Well, she has proven she can dominate even against the top players, and to top it off, as she is relatively unknown on the tennis circuit, know one really knows her game and style of play. This will come in handy against Sakkari who may become frustrated and need to quickly problem solve and adjust throughout the game.
Maria Sakkari loses an unbelievable 8 (!) serve points all match and beats #4 Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 to reach the SFs at the #USOpen for the first time.
2nd career Slam SF, both this year (Roland Garros). pic.twitter.com/ApBSs2WARp
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 9, 2021
Sakkari is currently at a career high ranking of 18th in the world, she has won 31 matches so far this season, to 14 losses, with 21 of those wins and nine of those losses coming on the hard court. Sakkari’s best match had to be her last one against the 4th seed, Plíšková. It looked relatively close on the scoreboard, 6-4, 6-4, but in reality it was anything but that. Sakkari was completely dominant on serve, and she 93% of the points on her first serve. If the Greek can put up another performance like that in the semis, she will win the match for sure.
Understandably, the pair have never played each other, so the head-to-head is currently sitting at 0-0. Pressure does crazy things to players out on the court, but Sakkari didn’t look under any pressure in the quarters, will the next step up in the semis push her into feeling that pressure. Talking about pressure, there is absolutely none on Raducanu, so look for her to use that to her advantage and try to get off to a fast start and close the door on Sakkari’s finals hopes. This is a really tough one to call, but we are going to go with Sakkari for the win. She will use her first serve to get a number of free or easy points and not let the young Brit in with a chance.
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.