Wednesday saw the completion of Round 1 and Round 2 at the Nurnberg Cup. Victories for top seed Yulia Putinseva, Katerina Siniakova and Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam were amongst the key performances. The tournament is still wide open.
Veteran clay courter Svetlana Kuznetsova was upset by Sweden’s Johanna Larsson, who snapped an eight-match losing streak. Larsson then pushed #2 seed Katerina Siniakova to three sets, before eventually losing 4-6 6-0 6-3. It was a promising show from Larsson, who should be able to start turning her fortunes around – she is too good a player not to do so. Thursday sees quarterfinals action. Here are our predictions for the four singles matches.
WTA Nurnberg Quarterfinal Predictions
Tamara Zidansek vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head-to-head: Zidanesk 1-0 Kudermetova
A 2018 Santa Margherita Di Pula ITF victory for Tamara Zidanesk gives the Slovenian the head-to-head advantage. Both players have improved since then.
Zidanesk took no prisoners in Round 2, taking the ball early to throw Ajla Tomljanovic off her stride. Kudermetova is playing to the same level that saw her reach the last eight in Istanbul. She is leaving her post-Nurnberg three-match losing streak behind her. The Russian World #74 is fancied to just edge a close match.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 3
Nina Stojanovic vs Sorana Cirstea
Serbian Qualifier Nina Stojanovic had to dig deep in both her three-set victories over Alison Riske and Sara Sorribes Tormo, but she has grit in her locker, by the barrel-full.
Romania’s Sorana Cirstea is slowly coming into form this clay season, making the 2nd round in Madrid and playing positively here. However, when things aren’t going the Romanian’s way she tends to get a tad defensive, not her natural style. Cirstea should win three matches in a row for the first time this clay season, and at the right time as we approach Roland Garros.
Prediction: Cirstea in 2
Yulia Putintseva vs Anna-Lena Friedsam
Putintseva got the job done against Mona Barthel in the last round, but the #1 seemed labored in doing so. World #522, Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam, is the only home country representative left in the singles draw. She lost only four games against compatriot Andrea Petkovic in the previous round. The call is for the German to edge through this one and upset the #1 seed.
Prediction: Friedsam in 3
Katerina Siniakova vs Madison Brengle
Madison Brengle’s only previous foray onto clay this season saw her lose in the first round at Charleston to Danielle Collins. Katerina Siniakova was 4-7 for the season on outdoor hardcourts. Her two wins this week takes her to 5-4 on clay, and she is getting better with each tournament.
Arguably, Siniakova playing anywhere near her best would make her firm favourite to win the title here. The Czech player, ranked as a high as World #31 last year, has a real opportunity here. It’s hard to see Brengle stopping her from progressing.
Prediction: Siniakova in 2
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