2011 Wimbledon – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Semifinals
Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs. Sabine Lisicki (GER)
Well, with this match-up, the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy is guaranteed one player that trains here will reach the finals and I couldn’t be more excited! Lisicki played incredibly well against Marion Bartoli and in reaching the semis, she is the first German woman to do so since Steffi Graf did 12 years ago. She is probably the hottest player on the WTA tour right now, having won Birmingham beforehand and ousting two top-ten players already at Wimbledon. She’s faced Sharapova once before, earlier this year at the Sony Ericsson Open, and she lost that match. I am sure they have run into each other here at the Academy so they will know each other’s games very well.
To me, this match comes down to Lisicki’s serve versus Sharapova’s mentality and focus. If you look at their games, they are pretty even. Both have excellent forehands, both have solid backhands, neither will come to the net much, and both move pretty well on grass. Lisicki probably will hit more drop shots (like she did against Bartoli) and has more on her serve. That being said, Sharapova has been to this position before and she thrives in these pressure moments.
This match is going to be thrilling for my staff and I to watch because we know these girls so well. Whoever wins, we are proud of both of them for getting this far. I want to hear who you think is going to win! Let me know by commenting on this post.
Nick’s Pick – You make the pick!
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) vs. Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Azarenka advanced with a relatively easy straight set win over Tamira Paszek in the quarters and she is in the semis of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career. She has always had the talent, but at times you have to wonder where her focus is. A win here would be a big turning point in her career and it would cement her as one of the top women on the tour.
Kvitova had to fight extremely hard to get by Pironkova in the quarters and she is into the semis of Wimbledon for the second straight year. She is looking to get into the finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career and I know my good buddy, Brad Gilbert, picked her to win it all. He may look like a genius at the end of this thing!
Like the Sharapova/Lisicki match, this one is hard to call as well. Both girls hit the ball so well from both sides and both can really be aggressive and at times make too many mistakes. Being a lefty will give Kvitova an advantage, but I don’t think it will be a big advantage because of the way the courts are playing right now. This is really a toss up because both girls are more than capable of winning this title. I am going to give a slight edge to Azarenka as long as she doesn’t have any health issues, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kvitova win this either.
Nick’s Pick – Azarenka in 3 sets