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Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka – Wimbledon semifinal preview

The first Wimbledon semifinal on Centre Court on Thursday will be between Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber and you can read the preview of the match-up here. Now let's give the word to our guest poster Omair for his take on the semifinal between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.

Serena Williams has set her sights on her seventh Wimbledon final as she takes on Victoria Azarenka, while Azarenka has her sights set on her first Wimbledon final and the No.1 ranking from which she was dethroned by Maria Sharapova after Roland Garros. Azarenka needs to reach the final to secure the return to the top spot or Agnieszka Radwanska to fall short of winning her first Grand Slam.

Let's have a look at the performance of Serena and Azarenka so far at Wimbledon 2012.

* I have used the average aces, double faults, winners and unforced errors hit by the player per match.

Serena has been serving efficiently as evident from her serving stats. The major difference will be the second serve. We all know that Serena has been serving her way out of trouble. Azarenka has won only 46% of points played on her second serve, while Serena has 63%, a huge difference of 17%.

However, Azarenka might love to try Serena's skills on the net by moving her around as she has won 9% more points than Serena on the net. Serena has been better than Azarenka in almost every department.

Serena is playing way cleaner matches than Azarenka. Serena's winner-unforced errors differential is +19, against +7 for Azarenka per match. Also, an interesting thing to note is that Azarenka is the only player left in the draw who has more double faults than aces, averaging five double faults per match against three aces per match.

Serena is 6-1 in Wimbledon semifinals and 7-1 against Azarenka in the pair's head-to-head meetings. Their most recent meeting came in the final of Madrid 2012 won by Serena in straight sets.

Azarenka is the only one of the four players left in the draw, who has yet to drop a set. Her semifinal opponent has dropped two sets so far, one to Zheng Jie in her third-round victory and the other to Yaroslava Shvedova in the fourth round.

If both are playing at their best, we will be in for a treat. No one has forgotten the second set played between the two in the third round of the US Open last year. If Azarenka is to have a chance, she will have to hold and serve and not to let go of any break point chance she might get, however, if she doesn't take her chances at break points she will be in trouble.

Venus Williams is the only player to have beaten Serena in the semifinals of Wimbledon. Will Azarenka become the second player?

Pick: Serena Williams in three sets.

Your thoughts?

If you would like to read more articles from Omair, visit his page here on Women's Tennis Blog or go to his new Tennis Stats blog. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)

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7 thoughts on “Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka – Wimbledon semifinal preview

  1. JohnnyB

    Omair, you use only statistics from Wimbledon. Then you mention a clay court match and matches played years ago which have nothing to do with what happens in 2012. Why not take into consideration what the players have done in 2012 except on clay. Azarenka has been the best, most consistent player this year. That consistency has held during Wimbledon – she has yet to lose a set. Serena on the otherhand has been anything but consistent. Serena has come very close to losing in her last 3 (not 2) three set matches including a 9-7 and a 7-5 final sets. If Zheng and Shevdova came that close to winning, Azarenka should have no problem moving on to an easy final with Radwanska.

  2. JohnnyB

    Sorry, there were only 2 three set matches. Iwas wrong on the post above. Omair is correct – as always with his stats!!

  3. Omair

    JohnnyB- I use stats of Wimbledon since the tournament is going on and the players have played a solid 5 matches so far.
    And I mentioned the clay court match just because it happened to be their last encounter, and though it was on clay, it was on blue clay, which was comparable to fast courts.

  4. Marija Post author

    Omair, I've corrected it.

    If Serena's serve remains on her side and she increases the break point conversion just a bit, which implies the slight increase in the receiving points won, she should win. Also Serena is much better in the department of winners-UE.

  5. Marija

    Love these stats from the WTA:

    Williams is playing her 21st Grand Slam semifinal (17-3 in her first 20); she has been to more than three times as many Grand Slam semifinals as the other three semifinalists combined (Azarenka three, Radwanska one, Kerber two).

    Williams has won her last seven matches against Top 2 players in straight sets.

    Williams has an amazing 55 differential of aces to double faults throughout the tournament (61 aces, 6 double faults); the other three's differentials are -10 for Azarenka (13-23), 9 for Radwanska (11-2) and even for Kerber (13-13).

    Every time the Williams sisters play doubles at Wimbledon, one of them wins the singles title!

    http://www.wtatennis.com/news/20120704/strawberries-cream-stats-for-the-semis_2256076_2832626

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