US Open Tennis 2012: Predicting Women's Semifinal Matchups

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02:  Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates a point during her women's singles fourth round match against Anna Tatishvili of Georgia on Day Seven of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 2, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Serena Williams is playing like her life depends on it so far at Flushing Meadows, but she's only one player with potential to punch her ticket into the semifinals.

Three of the top four women's seeds remain. No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska was eliminated in the fourth round, but Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Williams are still jockeying for position.

The remaining action on the women's side should be promising. Williams has been flawless, but she won't walk into the finals without a challenge.

Let's break out the crystal ball and predict the semifinal matchups in the women's draw.

Serena Williams (4) vs. Roberta Vinci (20)

Call me crazy, but I like Vinci to continue her momentum for one more match. After upsetting Radwanska, she will defeat Sara Errani in their quarterfinal tilt.

Not only did she beat the second-seeded Radwanska, she dominated her. The first set ended 6-1, and she followed that with a 6-4 victory in the second frame.

Momentum is a big deal in Grand Slam tournaments, and she has a lot of it. It won't help her once she reaches the semifinals, though, because Williams is just that good.

The No. 4 seed hasn't dropped a set in Open action so far, and she isn't going to start anytime soon. Ana Ivanovic will provide a challenge, but Williams is menacing right now.

Andrea Hlavackova upset Maria Kirilenko in the third round before Williams embarrassed her on Monday. She lost the first two sets, failing to win a game in either.

It's impossible to see Williams not making it this far, and Vinci's confidence will push her past Errani.

Victoria Azarenka (1) vs. Maria Sharapova (3)

Williams has been flawless, and Azarenka hasn't been much worse. She's earned four dominant victories so far, highlighted by her 6-0, 6-1 pounding of Jie Zheng in Round 3.

She's the top-seeded female for a reason, and she's shown that in every match so far. Samantha Stosur is the defending champion here, but Azarenka is playing better right now.

Sharapova hasn't been perfect, but she will learn from her mistakes. Nadia Petrova took her to three sets in the Round of 16, but she was able to escape with the victory.

Before that match, she handily defeated three opponents.

Both of these powerful players will be tested in the quarterfinals, but it's hard to see the semifinals lining up any other way.