The #8 seeded Czech put on an absolute masterclass last time out, crushing Aussie Ashley Barty 6-1, 6-4. Her trademark serve was again fantastic, winning 75% of points on her first serve. Petra has been in phenomenal form all tournament, yet to drop a set or even enter into a tie-break all tournament.
The relatively unheralded American has surprised a lot of people to get to this point. With wins over the seeded Julia Georges, Caroline Garcia, and Angelique Kerber, she has well and truly deserved her place here. Her serve is definitely a strong point to her game, having won at least 70% of first serve points in 4 of her 5 matches.
Prediction: Kvitova 2-0 $1.65
With the form Kvitova is in, it’s very difficult to oppose her here. She has the clear power edge over Collins, is better in the return game, and has more experience at this point in a Grand Slam. Expect a confident Kvitova win here.
Osaka enters this one off an incredibly impressive straight sets victory over Elina Svitolina in the Quarter Finals. Her serve was again on point, serving 8 aces to 0 double faults. An impressive trio of wins against Hsieh, Sevastova, and now Svitolina really highlight the quality Osaka has going forward.
After seemingly being dead and buried yesterday, Pliskova pulled off a great escape to beat Serena Williams in 3 sets. 5 breaks of serve against a player of Serena’s calibre shows her quality as a returner. Her run to the Semi-Finals has been just as impressive, knocking off 3 seeded players in Giorgi, Muguruza, and now Williams.
Prediction: Osaka to win $1.80
After such a huge emotional win yesterday, Pliskova is primed for a letdown here. Osaka also has the rest advantage, playing significantly less minutes and having her match finish 3 hours earlier. At $1.80, I think she is great value to take this one out.
Nadal enters the Semi-Finals well rested after yet another solid performance, getting the late cover over Frances Tiafoe last time out. Whilst having played a relatively easy schedule so far, Rafa is still yet to drop a set, which is very impressive at this stage. His return of serve has continued to be excellent, averaging 5 breaks per match so far.
The new major Greek tennis hope had yet another strong display last time out, defeating Roberto Bautista Agut in a tight 4-setter. His signature win over Roger Federer on Sunday signalled a potential changing of the guard. The strong Tsitsipas serve should hold him in good stead against the strong Rafa return, averaging 20 aces over his last 3 matches.
Prediction: Over 35.5 Games
Ultimately, I think Tsitsipas takes a set in this one. Should he manage that, it’s very likely that this total goes over 35.5. He is the toughest opponent Nadal has faced so far and I expect his consistent serve to at least keep this one close.