U.S. Open: Women's semifinal odds and picks
Charles Bricker is a 42-year veteran of the news and sportswriting wars with distinguished service at the San Jose Mercury News in California and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He began annually covering the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 1993.
Odds provided by Pinnaclesports.com.
(2) Serena Williams (-218) vs. Kim Clijsters (+199)
As sometimes happens, the semifinal is really the final. Does anyone doubt that these are the two best players in the final four?
Williams is going to take this one in three blast-away sets and go on to record her 12th Grand Slam title. She's also going to win her fourth major in the last five (missing only this year's French Open), producing a dominance in the women's game that hasn't been seen since Steffi Graf won six out of seven in 1995-96 while not playing the '96 Australian Open.
Should be a fairly evenly split crowd with a lot of Yanks cheering for Williams but a lot of sentimentalists rooting for one of the real sweethearts of women's tennis, Kim Clijsters. Williams leads the head to head 7-1, but they haven't played each other since 2003.
(9) Caroline Wozniacki (-400) vs. Yanina Wickmayer (+355)
Two players in uncharted territory, though The Woz has reached the late stages of enough big events to feel less pressure and should win in straights. Wickmayer is, in one way, a bigger surprise at this Open than Melanie Oudin, since she reached the final four.
She came to the U.S. Open with a 1-6 record in Grand Slam matches. She'll match her aggressive play against Wozniacki's ability to stick out the 20-ball rallies. It's a first-time meeting for these two young players.
Yesterday's record: 1-0 (Pending Nadal-Gonzalez match)
Tourney record: 25-10 (Pending Nadal-Gonzalez match)