US Open Women’s Semifinal Predictions Including Aryna Sabalenka vs Leylah Fernandez

Emma Raducanu in action at the US Open.

After a thrilling US Open so far, we are down to the final four competitors in New York. All four will doubtless be desperate to book their place in the final and so earn their chance to win a maiden Grand Slam title. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for both semifinals. But who will fall short at this stage?

US Open Semifinal Predictions

Aryna Sabalenka vs Leylah Fernandez

Jim: What a tournament it has been for Fernandez. She has knocked out Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Elina Svitolina to announce her arrival. In fact, she has captured so many headlines that Aryna Sabalenka’s efforts have gone largely unnoticed by the wider world. But no one has been able to lay a glove on her since the first round, with her power allowing her to take the racket out of her opponent’s hands on courts that have rewarded players for first-strike tennis. Fernandez did cut one big-hitter down to size in Osaka, but Sabalenka looks to be on much surer footing than the Japanese.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

Fraser: Fernandez continues to amaze in New York. The teen sensation has beaten two top five players in the last week to book a spot in the semifinals. Her forehand has been superb and the angles she creates boggle the mind at times. However, Sabalenka is a different animal to any she’s faced so far. Osaka had the power but wasn’t in form, Svitolina had the pedigree but no huge weapons.

Sabalenka, however, has both form and weapons in abundance. An immense serve and ferocious power off both wings make her hard to stop when she’s in this kind of form. I love Fernandez’s game and she’s surely a star of the future, but this is too much to ask of the young teen. She’s close, but not there just yet as far as the elite in the women’s game go. This is Sabalenka’s time to shine.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

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Andy: Will the power of Sabalenka finally be the key that unlocks the door against Fernandez? The Canadian youngster has had the answer to everything that Osaka, Kerber and Svitolina have thrown at her. But Sabalenka does offer something different to any of them. The Belarusian is in form, strong and fit, and her serve is firing. Sabalenka has also been brushing players aside in this tournament, albeit not players of the same level that Fernandez has played. The crowd will be with Fernandez, but I think that the power of Sabalenka will be the decisive factor here.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

Yesh: Fernandez has been an absolute revelation this tournament. Her game can frustrate and outwit anyone on tour, as she’s proving. Sabalenka has been much better in big tournaments recently, but she does have a tendency to get frustrated. That’s a bad combination here.

Prediction: Fernandez in 3

Ryan: Fernandez has been incredible and won against several difficult opponents. Sabalenka has had the game to win a Slam for years but has never quite been consistent enough. She seems to have put it all together here, dominating throughout the tournament and maximizing her power while limiting errors. Fernandez may well find herself with too much to handle here. Expect Sabalenka to make her first Grand Slam final.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

Jim: It’s probably fair to say that I’ve underestimated Sakkari so far at the US Open. But not any more. The Greek has shown the full array of her skills in her last two matches, first outlasting Bianca Andreescu and then clinically dismissing Karolina Pliskova. For Raducanu, much like Fernandez, it’s been a dream run, but just like the Canadian she might be up against it here. Sakkari has the power to go toe-to-toe as well as the tenacity and speed around the court to batten down the hatches. She should be just about too strong for the young gun.

Prediction: Sakkari in 3

Fraser: Once again the British teen sensation has proved me wrong. Raducanu dismantled Belinda Bencic in straight sets to reach her maiden Grand Slam semifinal. What surprised me is that Raducanu was simply the better player. Bencic played good tennis, but fell short against a better opponent on the day. However, while Bencic has found form only recently Sakkari has been in fine form all year, making deep runs in big tournaments and proving she is deserving of her place among the elite. Raducanu has done amazing things this week, but I can’t pick her against the power and confidence of Sakkari. Surely Sakkari is one upset too many, especially given how well she has played so far in New York. Sakkari is due a berth in a Major final and I think she gets it here.

Prediction: Sakkari in 2

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Andy: It’s still incredible to think that the world #150 is here in the semifinals. Sakkari has been in a Grand Slam semifinal this year and will relish the opportunity to banish that from the memory banks if she can. Raducanu has forced player after player into errors, double faults and a brain fade. The Briton gets on these runs of game wins that take the matches away from her opponent. But now she comes up against the Greek, who produced a complete display against Pliskova in the quarterfinals. I feel that the Greek is looking rock solid and playing well enough to keep Raducanu behind the baseline.

Prediction: Sakkari in 3

Yesh: Raducanu’s run here has been astounding. She showed flashes at Wimbledon, but the unfortunate end to her tournament there took some of the shine off the talent. Nothing will take the shine off this run, though Maria Sakkari’s superior game might just end it. The Greek looked the favorite at this stage of the French Open, but–not to sugar-coat it–she choked. Could that happen again? Absolutely. Should we expect it to? Maybe.

Prediction: Raducanu in 3

Ryan: Raducanu has looked like the best player in the draw, winning every set she has played and not even being forced to a tiebreak. Sakkari is the more experienced player, though she is playing in just her second major semifinal after this year’s French Open. This one will be close, but Sakkari held her nerves well at the French Open and looked excellent against the former finalist Pliskova who has been one of the best players of the summer. Sakkari’s game looks great right now and she will overpower Raducanu and limit her errors to make her first Major final.

Prediction: Sakkari in 3

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