Semi-Final #1 - (6) Eugenie Bouchard vs (8) Caroline Wozniacki
Friday’s second semi-final in Wuhan promises to be a thriller when Eugenie Bouchard and Caroline Wozniacki come up against each other for the very first time.
After an extremely disappointing North American hard court season, hampered by lingering injuries, Eugenie Bouchard has rebounded strongly in Wuhan. In her opening match, Bouchard was forced to come from a set down to defeat the always-dangerous Mona Barthel. Bouchard’s third round victory over Alison Riske was far more straightforward, a comprehensive 6-2 6-3 victory.
Bouchard’s quarter-final victory over Alize Cornet was arguably the Canadian’s best victory since Wimbledon. The Canadian was at her aggressive best for the majority of the match, stepping up into the court and dictating play. Bouchard looked to be cruising to victory up two breaks at 5-2 up in the second set, however Cornet produced a spirited fight back to level the set at 5-5. Genie didn't panic, breaking Cornet to love with an impressive return game before serving the match out on her third attempt. Bouchard’s victory over Cornet secured her sixth semi-final birth of the year and all but assured her spot at the WTA finals in Singapore.
Caroline Wozniacki’s stellar second half of the year has continued in Wuhan. Since Wimbledon Caroline has won 25 of her 30 matches, during this run Caroline has won one title (Istanbul), reached the U.S Open final as well as reaching three premier level semi-finals (Cincinnati, Tokyo and Wuhan). Wozniacki was forced to work extremely hard for her opening round victory in Wuhan, just overcoming a spirited Carla Suarez Navarro in a third set tiebreaker. The Dane routed Dellacqua 6-0 6-3 in the third round before coming from a set down to defeat qualifier Timea Bacsinszky in the quarter-finals. It was a typical gritty performance from Wozniacki who ultimately outlasted Timea, her superior fitness and consistency certainly major factors in the victory.
Remarkably, this will be the first career meeting between the former number 1 and the rising star. The two have a lot in common, most notably is that they both move extremely well around the court. Boucahrd looks to have returned to some really solid form. The Canadian’s ability to be more aggressive should give her the edge in this match-up.
Prediction: Eugenie Boucahrd to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in 3 sets