WTA Auckland Semifinals Predictions Including Serena Williams vs Amanda Anisimova

Serena Williams Auckland Open

After an incredible week of tennis at the Auckland Open, just four women remain in contention for the singles title in New Zealand. But who will book their place in Sunday’s showpiece final at this crucial warm-up event for the Australian Open?

WTA Auckland Open Semifinal Predictions

Caroline Wozniacki vs Jessica Pegula

Head-to-head: first meeting

Caroline Wozniacki, who is set to retire after the Australian Open, played very well to comfortably beat Julia Goerges in the quarterfinals. Wozniacki’s consistency and counterpunching were too much for Goerges to handle, with the Dane claiming a deserved 6-1 6-4 victory. Jessica Pegula, meanwhile, has looked sharp so far at the Auckland Open. The American raced through her opening two matches, dismissing her compatriot CiCi Bellis 6-0 6-4 before beating Tamara Zidansek 6-2 6-3.

In the semifinals, she benefitted from Alize Cornet’s second-set retirement. Pegula had been entirely in the ascendancy up to that point, with her backhand supremely effective, although how much of that dominance was due to Cornet’s injury is difficult to accurately gauge. Regardless, she will need to be at her best to get the better of the Dane, who appears determined to end her career on a high. Wozniacki, as ever, will look to grind her opponent down.

Pegula will need to be wary of Wozniacki’s ability to turn defence into attack with a single shot, with few more accomplished at defending out of the corners than the former-world #1, particularly on the backhand-side. Pegula has been playing some of the best tennis of her life in Auckland, but Wozniacki will mark a real step up in the quality of opposition, particularly defensively. Expect her to draw enough errors from the Pegula racquet to book a spot in the final.

Prediction: Wozniacki in 3
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Serena Williams vs Amanda Anisimova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Serena Williams, after a fierce three-set battle with Christina McHale in the round of 16, enjoyed a more straightforward win over Germany’s Laura Siegemund in the quarterfinals. When Williams is at her best, her formidable power makes her almost impossible to beat, and she showed just that in the last eight. But American young gun Amanda Anisimova, already a French Open semifinalist, will surely approach this match without fear.

She swept into the quarterfinals without dropping a set, beating Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova and former-world #10 Daria Kasatkina. She then edged out Eugenie Bouchard, who had played some fine tennis in Auckland, in the quarterfinals. The 18-year-old showed commendable mental strength to decisively break the Bouchard serve in a 16-point game at 4-4 in the third set to secure a 6-2 3-6 6-4 win over the 2014 Wimbledon finalist.

This match should mark an intriguing clash between Williams, both the past and present standard bearer of the women’s game in the US, and the player many expect to take over that mantle in Anisimova. Both players typically like to play on top of the baseline and take the ball early to deny their opponents time, but there are few, if any, more adept at doing so than Williams. Anisimova has the quality and the confidence to cause Williams some problems and it would be something of a surprise if she does not take a set, but expect Williams’ greater power to prove decisive.

Prediction: Williams in 3

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