Play was suspended on Thursday due to rain. Both the men’ and women’s semifinal matches will be played on Day 12, and, consequently, the women will not have a day of rest before the final. Some think that the lack of rest will not be beneficial for certain players. However, one of the equalizing qualities of tennis is that, usually, both players are dealing with the same conditions be it weather or time between matches. Let’s take a look at the men’s and women’s semifinal matches.
Flavia Pennetta (26) vs. Simona Halep (2)
Halep, as the more experienced and more highly ranked player, should cruise against Pennetta. However, Halep has sometimes struggled on the big stages. Pennetta is a solid player who has the tools to win.
Prediction: Halep in straight sets
Serena Williams (1) vs. Roberta Vinci
It would be an audacious thing to give Vinci the edge in this match (so I won’t). In a draw oddity, Williams is the first seeded player that Vinci will face in this U.S. Open. She was scheduled to play 25th seed Eugenie Bouchard in the fourth round, but Bouchard withdrew citing a concussion sustained in a locker room slip. And now we’re left with the almost-comical lineup: one of the best players in history against an unseeded player in the semifinal of a Grand Slam. Aside from a three set battle with sister Venus and a slight bobble in the third round against Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Serena has largely cruised. She is not really competing against Vinci—Serena is the better player even if she takes a loss. And she will not really compete against Pennetta or Halep should she make the final for she is playing against history.
Prediction: Serena in straight sets
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Marin Cilic (9)
Djokovic has been the best player in the world for several years. He will have a stern test in defending champion Cilic, who took advantage of the opportunity to play for a Slam last year and became one of a handful of players to win one in the era of the Big Four. Cilic has had a more difficult road than Djokovic—he has played two five setters and a four setter. However, Djokovic has stumbled somewhat in his last two matches, losing a set in each. Even so, Djokovic tends to rise to the occasion. His experience and confidence will be an advantage in this matchup.
Prediction: Djokovic in five
Stan Wawrinka (5) vs. Roger Federer (2)
Wawrinka claimed the most recent meeting between the two Swiss superstars—a straight set affair in the quarterfinals of this year’s French Open. Wawrinka has entered his prime, winning two Grand Slams in the past two seasons after spending years in the shadow of Federer and the other members of the Big Four. He is now a part of the conversation, but will need to muster a similar performance to that of his run at Roland Garros if he is to challenge Federer, who, at his ball-striking best, embarrassed Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals. Federer’s window of opportunity for another Slam is closing, but he has been in-form at the Open and has never lost to Wawrinka on hard court.
Prediction: Federer in five