Re: The 4 players making the semis of the YEC are......
The only person I'm fairly certain about is Justine. I'd say with 90% conviction that she will make the semi-finals. Nothing in the future is certain by definition, and Chakvetadze was her easiest match, so I won't go over 90% certainty, but I'd be pretty shocked if she lost to Jankovic, which is what it would take for her not to qualify at this point.
I can say Ana will qualify with about 75% conviction. Hantuchova has given Ana trouble in every single match, and while Ana is the favorite against Maria, it isn't out of the question that she could lose both to Dani and to Maria. However, I expect Ivanovic to win both matches and qualify. Kuznetsova was always the barometer for me.
I can say Hantuchova won't qualify with 75% conviction. Maria was her weakest opponent, and she didn't even win a set. She has beaten both Ivanovic and Kuznetsova this year, so I have to give her a chance at least, but odds aren't looking good.
The Red Group all comes down to Thursday's match between Maria and Svetlana. Long term, I'm almost certain Maria will be the better player. I think that's evidenced by the fact that Maria's had her worst year on tour and Svetlana her best and yet both have the same rough statistics (but Maria's been injured, which accounts for ranking differences,) and this match is a genuine toss up. Oh did I mention Maria's also two years younger? Anyway, when push comes to shove, I like Maria because this is an indoor surface, and Maria has never lost more than 5 games to Sveta in a YEC match. However, I hear the Madrid court is slow, which aids Sveta significantly. I will be waiting for that match with baited breath.
The Yellow group has a lot more variables. I haven't seen Serena Williams play since the US Open, when she was mediocre (if you were a fan) or a walking McDonalds advertisement (if you were a hater.) She plays Chakvetadze tomorrow right? If she loses to Chakvetadze, bye bye miss American pie, because I just don't think she can recover to beat Jankovic AND Henin. However, I don't think that's realistically going to happen, because the match will always be in Serena's court, and she has enough heart to beat players who can't beat her. If Serena wins in straight sets, she'll probably beat Jankovic and lose to Henin. If Serena wins in straight, dominating sets, she'll definitely beat Jankovic and stands a fighting chance to beat Henin. If it goes three and Serena wins on heart more than game, Jankovic will likely beat Serena. Notice I didn't say qualify. There's this odd dynamic that Chakvetadze has a nearly impeccable record against Jelena. That match is by no means a gimmie for the Serb. Also, it's not completely far fetched for Jelena to pull off the Henin upset (certainly more likely than Hantuchova beating both Ivanovic and Kuznetsova.)
In other words, I doubt that Henin will lose both to Jankovic and Serena, meaning she'll probably qualify, and I don't think Chakvetadze will beat Serena, meaning she probably won't qualify, but not one of the three other matches has any overwhelming favorite in my eyes. Jankovic could go 3-0 or 0-3 just as easily. Ultimately I think it will come down to the Serena vs. Jelena match, but I don't think that match will be as critical as Sharapova vs. Kuznetsova.