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Serena Williams (USA) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL)
Serena eliminated Flavia Pennetta in straight sets in the quarterfinals and is into the semis of a Grand Slam for the third time this year. She has already won the Australian Open and Wimbledon and is looking for her fourth US Open title. While Serena didn't have the best summer by her standards, she has said numerous times that she focuses on the majors. There is no doubt that she has had the best season of any player at the Grand Slams, and that is what it is all about.
Clijsters' magical run continued with a straight-set win over Na Li in the quarterfinals. Her one and only Grand Slam title came at the US Open back in 2005 and the New York fans really love her. It's amazing that she just came back to the tour less than a month ago and she is already in the semis of a Grand Slam. It just goes to show you how great of an athlete Clijsters is and it is great to have her back on the tour!
Serena is 7-1 against Clijsters, but the two haven't faced in over six years. This will be the must-see match of the tournament because both ladies are playing so well right now. Clijsters is just beautiful to watch on the court. She has a great fighting spirit, she's moving and serving well, and against Li she was dynamite. She has been able to keep the pressure on her opponents at all times and is running down the extra ball or two which will frustrate anyone.
Serena is playing about as well as Serena can play. Her level of intensity is amazing, and just watching her you can see it in her face. What I really like is that she is standing right on that baseline and whenever she has to back up she recovers right back to the baseline immediately. This is fantastic, because when she gets pinned behind the line she is trouble. She is also constantly attacking her opponents, never giving them a chance to breath. She has kept her unforced errors down and her serve and groundstrokes are excellent.
This will be a spectacular match, but in the end I have to give the edge to Serena. She has more match experience as of late and is just so solid. Clijsters will get a set and put the pressure on, but in the end Serena will come out ahead.
Nick's Pick - S. Williams in 3 sets
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) vs. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
Wozniacki ended American Melanie Oudin's magical run, but she is on quite a run herself. She is only 19-years old and this is her first career Grand Slam semifinal appearance. She is someone that we have looked at for the last couple of years as a player that could compete for a major title, and now here she is, one win away from the finals. Her infectious smile and bubbly personality make her a crowd favorite, so don't be surprised to find those New York fans cheering her on!
Wickmayer has had an incredible run to the semis of a Grand Slam and her story is one of the best of the tournament. Before this tournament she had never even been past the second round of a Grand Slam, and now she is right on the cusp of the finals. She beat Kateryna Bondarenko in straight sets in the quarters, but it wasn't easy. She won the first set and then went down 1-4 in the second, but battled back to win it 7-5, 6-4.
This is the first career meeting between these two teenage tennis sensations and promises to be a very fun match! While this is the first time either of these girls have gotten this far in a Grand Slam, Wozniacki definitely has more experience in bigger matches. She displayed great variety against Oudin, and that is what makes her so difficult to beat. She has the power, is an excellent counter-puncher, and also moves well. Her two-handed backhand is superb and her forehand isn't bad either. Wickmayer plays with more power than Wozniacki, but she is also prone to more mistakes. She is a tall girl who has fantastic movement, a solid serve, and can really pound it from both sides. She won't go down without a fight and I expect this match to go three sets, but in the end it will be Wozniacki still standing.
Nick's Pick - Wozniacki in 3 sets