Good and bad semifinal surprises in Indian Wells + can JJ beat Halep?


Surprising outcomes of both the Indian Wells semifinals! In the first one Jelena Jankovic got her exhilaration level to the max after rallying to beat Sabine Lisicki, while in the second semifinal we had bad news, as the star of the tournament Serena Williams gave Simona Halep a walkover, withdrawing with a knee injury.

Let’s start with the good part of the IW semifinal story. After relatively straightforwardly losing the first set to the big-hitting world No.30 Lisicki, in the beginning of the second set the hopes of JJ‘s success were fading when Lisicki went up a break in the third game. However, the German couldn’t consolidate that break and the same thing happened with her next advantage — another break up, 3-2, Lisicki allowed JJ to break back, which proved to be the turning point of the match. From then on, Lisicki’s became more error-prone and the world No.21 Jankovic used her opportunities, breaking the German’s serve to love to go 5-3 up and dominating all the way to the rest of the match for an unexpected 3-6 6-3 6-1 victory.

And JJ’s reaction to a comment that no one would have picked her to make the final:

I wouldn’t have picked myself either!

I’ve missed seeing JJ in later stages of tournaments, especially because we get to hear more often gems like this one referring to her coaching violation:

“I think I made, you know, quite enough money to pay for the fines. It’s fine. What can I do? (Laughter.)”

A facepalm followed. 😀

And now we have to move to the bad part of the Indian Wells semifinal action. Serena Williams gave Simona Halep a walkover and it’s absolutely the worst outcome of Serena’s grand return to this tournament. The problem was tremendous amount of inflammation in her right knee, but she’s positive that it will go away in a couple of days and she’ll be ready for Miami. Plus, Indian Wells will stay on her schedule for the years to come:

Really disappointed, down, sad but I thought Serena this is just an opportunity to come back next year


Their head-to-head record is 3-1 for Halep, and Halep is the one who won their last three meetings. All their encounters were three-setters and in the last two JJ ate a bagel.


  1. I think Halepeno will win, but it would be great for JJ to turn back the clock & bring back the game we all know she has.. Must say,considering she’s been unwell & injured of late; she looks soooo fit & lean …

  2. This should be a great final, with lots of long rallies. JJ and “Halepino” (methinks this is what Brad Gilbert refers to Simona as..right PeteTweet? (; ) are two of the fittest players on tour. Gotta love JJ’s self deprecating the quarters against Pennetta after she was wrong on two previous challenges, after challenging a third time she asked a fan in the crowd, “am I wrong again?”. But this time she proved right. I will be pulling for the thirty something!

  3. Oops ..”Halepeno”..and JJ’s quarters match against Tsurenko. (or it may have been the round of 16 match versus Bencic!

  4. I would pick Simona considering she is much fresher than JJ. Jelena did well in the SF against Sabine but still, my match of the tournament would still be the Flavia-Sabine QF match. It was very entertaining! I’m predicting Simona to take this in easy straight sets. Good omen for JJ for the next few months considering she has the same start like 2010.

  5. @Jim, yes & lol it’s the Brad Gilbert nickname for Simona.. He comes up with some funny names for players via his Twitter feed. He has a wacky sense of humour

  6. So could somebody please tell me when the powers that be are going to add “lucky losers” to the main draw of majoe tennis tounaments? How can anyone in good conscience cancel a semi-final or even final match that so many thousands of people have invested so much time and money into? If this were to occur in a major league there would be riots in the streets. People who come to see a tennis match should see one – there should be no such thing as a walkover. Has this just never been thought of before?

  7. Bei Ng, you’re right, it is a huge waste for tennis fans who bought tickets and traveled to the site to see the match. But how can you add a lucky loser straight to the semifinals of IW? Maybe a player who lost in the quarterfinals could be drawn to play the semis as a lucky loser? That could be a possible option.


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