2014 French Open women’s singles final

I figure that with yet another Big Four men’s singles final in a Grand Slam (Nadal/Djokovic(, that final is worth skipping over in terms of prediction, and instead focus on the women’s singles final. Maria Sharapova, world #7 and seeded #7, competes against Romania’s Simona Halep, the soon-to-be world #3 and the Open’s #4 seed, for the championship.
I’m sure I don’t have to repeat the accomplishments of that whom some call “Sugarpova” but here’s what’s relevant: She’s reached at least the semifinal round 4 years running at Roland Garros, a better streak than her run of 3 years at Wimbledon. Owns a lifetime record of 81% wins on clay. This year, won 90 of 100 sets played on clay, going 18-1 in matches
Simona Halep only just came upon my radar. In this year’s Australian Open she reached her first quarterfinal in a Grand Slam event. Last year she won 6 WTA titles, and across 4 different surfaces.

Here are the stats Halep has an edge, lifetime:
1st serve: 62.8% to 61%
2nd serve points won: 48.6% to 47.7%
Service games won: 71.3% to 70.5%
1st serve return points won: 41.2% to 40.7%
2nd serve return points won: 59.7% to 59.3%
Return games won: 46.4% to 44.8%
Head to head:
Sharapova’s won 3 all contests, including a win on clay at Madrid in the final. Halip has only managed better stats a few times in any category at all, once each for these: 2nd service points won, 1st service points won, aces to double faults.
Looking at each category here’s what levels Halep would need to win:
1st serve %: 66
Aces/double faults: keep at least one ace better than double fault
1st service points won: 65%
2nd service points won: 49%
Return points won: 47%

Now to the cycles:
Sharapova:

Might this be a tough day for Maria? She’s made it through the tournament this far, so her game is on a slow but uphill streak. Mental game is still at its peak which she’s relied on. Pure power has not served her well but that is increasing.
Halep:

All 3 cycles are in the positive sector for this brief period of 2 days. She’s experienced an upward trend for at least a week, tho physically it’s starting to downturn considerably. This might be felt as a challenging day emotionally, prone to outbursts and related character, being overly sensitive to the elements. Still her cycles are better than Maria’s, with a stronger mental game and a much stronger focus.

This could be the day Simona Halep wins her first match against Sharapova, but she will have to be at the peak of her game, which in fact appears to be now. Still, I’m siding with past history, and am predicting Sharapova wins in 3 grueling sets, a match worthy of a Grand Slam final.

French Open women’s tennis final analysis

Serena, Maria. Maria, Serena. Another meeting, another Grand Slam final.  Roland Garros’ clay courts are the setting in about an hour from now.  Here’s how they matchup once again:

Serena Williams: 

Serena’s going to have one of those days…not one of those good days.  She’s quite prone to flying off the handle today, emoting more than usual. She’ll hit her winners, but also an equal amount of unforced errors.  She just won’t seem like herself tho will continue to be strongly motivated to persevere. 

Maria Sharapova: 

Maria’s mental game, let alone that infamous shriek will be intact all throughout.  Her athletic ability tho, reached a low in the semifinals 2 days ago, and only now beginning to turn the tide.  Her drive to push through, unlike Serena’s, is at a low. 

From this pair of cycles, I’m predicting a straight-set win for Serena. 

Looking at numbers, here’s how they align: 

Serena leads in head-to-head 13 to 2, including the last 11. Maria’s last victory over her was the 2005 Australian Open.  It’s their 3rd meeting on clay, 2nd clay final, and first time locking horns in the French. 
From available match stats, the only stat Maria seems to have any edge in from their matches in the 1st serve %.  Otherwise, Serena dominates.   Should be over in 70-80 minutes. 

Stats from http://www.wtatennis.com 

2013 Australian Open women’s semifinals in biorhythms

Viktoria Azarenka: 

Surge in energy and athleticism along with focus. Will continue to feed off the emotions of the crowd tho not as much as prior matches. All approaching a brief triple high. Still an uphill climb. 

Sloane Stephens:

Sloane’s got better strength, and she’s beginning to get the internal confidence boost, especially after defeating her hero Serena (remember that triple low that kicked off that day?)…but she must deal with her decision making while relying on power. 

Should be close but I give it Azarenka in 3. 

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 Maria Sharapova 

Sharapova at the top of her game. 

Li Na

All cycles pointing up at least and I would give a generally favorable outlook.  But weak in strength, not finding it when she needs it most.  She has finesse today in spades, and that will have to be her strength today against world #1.  Thing is, she’s more of a hard hitter that is adept near the net, and doesn’t often use topspin or slice. A tough ask. But this will still be an exciting match.

Sharapova in 3 sets to push the HTH rivalry lead to 9-4

 

2013 Australian Open women’s round of 16 (lower half)

Now to see the rest of the matches for 1/20, Day 7, using biorhythms: 

#5 Angelique Kerber

#19 Ekaterina Makarova

Good matchup, this one. I give the edge to Kerber in a 2-set fight. She’s got 2 strong cycles near their peak and rising. Makarova is staring at an unfortunate double-critical day, the time where can be accident prone, maybe even meltdown prone. No doubt as to her passion and drive tho.  

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Kirsten Flipkens

#2 Maria Sharapova  

Well, well. Very good match on tap here. Both are in great pure athletic form, yet is is Sharapova with all 3 cycles strongly higher; Maria has to be careful of her emotions, as this is a critical day for her.  Sharapova in 3 sets. 
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#13 Ana Ivanovic

#4 Agnieszka Radwanska  

Decent match here as well that may go 3. Radwanka with the triple high that will end after today. Emotional level is positive but a bit lacking.  Ivanovic has to rely on sheer power which is on the wane. Further, she’s got a critical mental day ahead, suggesting a lot of unforced errors, won’t really understand her own strength and could get down on herself quite easily.  Ivanovic in 3. 

#6 Na Li 

#18 Julia Goerges 
 

2 ladies coming out of tough cycle periods, both with weak strokes. They will have to rely on their brain power and use the entire court. Na Li comes out of a brief triple low period and residual critical days but still fuzzy mentally today.  Goerges had double critical day yesterday and likewise still feels that effect.  Ugly match this one, Narrow edge to Goerges in 3. 
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As for the trends through the week: both Sharapova and Kerber should meet in the QF with declining cycles; Sharapova with the edge here. I predict Radwanska to combat Goerges, who is now strongly on the upswing and may prove to be the best of the 8 ladies by the time the semifinals are done.