Serena Williams vs Agnieszka Radwanska, Indian Wells SF Preview

Indian Wells SF #1: (1) Serena Williams vs (3) Agnieszka Radwanska

Serena Williams and Aga Radwanska will renew hostilities when they meet at the semi-final stage of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday evening. Serena Williams has raced through the draw without dropping a set and will be the overwhelming favourite heading into this semi-final clash given her absolutely dominant 9-0 head-to-head record over the Pole. Radwanskaโ€™s recent form is also impressive, the soon to be world number 2 will feel like she has a chance of causing a gigantic upset heading into this clash but will need to produce the match of her life to stand a chance.

 

Serena Williams had looked good in her first tournament since her shock loss in the Australian Open final to Angelique Kerber. The American has stormed through the draw without dropping a set, and rarely looking like dropping a set. The world number 1 recorded relatively routine straight set wins over Laura Siegemund, Yulia Putintseva and Kateryna Bondarenko to kick-start her campaign for a first Indian Wells title since 2001. It was at the quarter-final stage that we saw that Serena really is the player to beat, the world number 1 crushed defending champion Simona Halep 6-4 6-2 in an emphatic performance.

Aga Radwanskaโ€™s consistent season has continued at Indian Wells, the Pole is now into her 7th consecutive semi-final at a WTA event, amassing a 29-5 win/loss record in her last 7 events including 3 titles. As a result of this great consistency, Aga will become the new world number 2 when the rankings are next updated. Aga could have easily exited the BNP Paribas Open in her very first match of the week, the Pole was forced to come from 2-5 down in the final set against Dominika Cibulkova, saving a match point in the process to claim an important 6-3 3-6 7-5 victory. Aga has been relatively untroubled since that match, recording straight set victories over Monica Niculescu, Jelena Jankovic and Petra Kvitova, barely putting a foot wrong in any of those matches. Nevertheless, Aga will need to elevate her game to a whole new level if she is to record her first victory over Serena Williams.

 

This match-up has always been a troublesome one for Radwanska. Serena has won all 9 of the previous matches between the pair and has only ever dropped 1 set against Aga which was at the Wimbledon final in 2012. The pair met earlier this year at the semi-final stage of the Australian Open, Serena absolutely crushed Aga in the first set before overcoming a slight wobble to win 6-4 6-0. This is obviously a good match-up for Serena and she will be determined to continue that dominance with the title within touching distance at the BNP Paribas Open.

Itโ€™s hard to make a case for Radwanska to win this match, or even to win a set. Serena has looked very good on route to this stage and has dominated the Pole in recent time. The fact that this match will be played at night makes this even tougher for Radwanska. The conditions will heavily favour Serena, the slower conditions will mean Serena will be able to dictate pretty much every point. Everything points to a crushing win for Serena.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Agnieszka Radwanska in 2 sets


10 thoughts on “Serena Williams vs Agnieszka Radwanska, Indian Wells SF Preview”

  1. Azarenka has not been challenged in this tournament. Also, she hates to play baseline rallies. If Plikova serves well and hit her power strokes consistently, she has a chance to reach the final.

    On paper, everyone is pointing to Azarenka but she is not immortal. Stosur did break her and stole the second set. I am sure Pliskova can do better than Stosur.

    I pick Pliskova to win this match in 3.

    1. For once we agree on an upset, as you can now see I have also picked Pliskova to win… I think the conditions might help Pliskova here, Pliskova has the game to win this, the question is can she execute under pressure? I’m not VERY confident but I have a feeling she can do this, we will see…

  2. Serena is already very much aware of how good Aga’s game is. She knows that Aga has some good shots in her game. But, Ava will need to be careful on how much she uses those shots, especially since Serena has really upped her movement. Serena has an extremely strong serve, having racked up 32 aces to 7 double faults. Aga’s serve tends to fluctuate a lot and she did have more double faults than aces in one of her matches – she already dropped one set against Cibulkova and has spent waaaayyyy more time on court than Serena. She also had her left thigh strapped. So, we’ll have to see how she can cope with that against Serena. I’m going for Serena in two sets.

    1. Yeah Serena is aware of Aga’s threats and I think that Serena always come to paly when she steps on the court against Aga because she knows that if she doesn’t play well that she will lose. Yes, you’re right that Serena has spent way less time on court and will be pretty fresh, but Aga will also be fine since she had a day off so that will not really be a factor in this match

  3. Serena has always done her best in the night matches. She was in superb form against defending champion Halep. Aga will probably put up a good fight in one of the sets. But, I highly doubt that she can take a set off of Serena, especially when Serena has been looking in healthy, consistent form. I feel that Serena’s withdrawal from both Dubai and Doha for six weeks has helped her to regroup and avoid the slow starts she had in 2015. She has served no more than three double faults per match, kept her aces high, and her winners-unforced errors ratio relatively close. When Serena reaches the quarterfinals or better, she really brings up her level in her game and she is the one to match. I am predicting Serena will take this match in straight sets.

    1. Yes, Serena does seem to play better at night, whilst Aga has stated many times that she doesn’t like to play at night. The conditions will make this match even tougher for Aga, it was already going to be very tough

      1. When Aga beat Domi 6-0, 6-0 in the final at Sydney in 2013, it was a night match (starting at 7.30 pm I believe). She mightn’t like night matches but that doesn’t mean she can’t play well in them when she has to.

        1. Yeah maybe, that’s just 1 match though… pretty sure Cibulkova played terribly in that match anyway but I don’t think how that is relevant to anything… It was a good match today between Aga and Serena

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