Just four women are left in contention at the Nottingham Open, after what has been a difficult week for the tournament organisers, players and fans alike. Near constant rain earlier in the week forced matches to be played on indoor hard courts rather than the outdoor grass that is usually used in Nottingham. Now with the rain having just about lifted, the stage is set for the semifinals. But who will reach the final?
WTA Nottingham Open Semifinal Predictions
Donna Vekic vs Tatjana Maria
Head-to-head: Vekic 1-0 Maria
Donna Vekic’s defensive abilities complemented her accurate serving against Kristina Mladenovic in the last eight. That was just the latest impressive performance from the Croatian, who was crowned champion in Nottingham two years ago. She can also surely draw confidence from having beaten her semifinal opponent Tatjana Maria in their only previous match, which came last season at the Hobart International. That would suggest that she will have the advantage if this match is forced indoors.
But if it is not, the 31-year-old German will have the advantage of having played a full match on the grass after defeating Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 7-6. The net-rushing Maria is a natural grass-courter, but she did look vulnerable to Tomljanovic’s lob, particularly in the second set, and that will surely be a tactic Vekic will look to employ. Maria is unquestionably a wily competitor, but expect Vekic to have just enough to return to the Nottingham Open final for the second time in three years.
Prediction: Vekic in three.
Embed from Getty Images
Caroline Garcia vs Jennifer Brady
Head-to-head: Brady 3-2 Garcia
Jennifer Brady has a 3-1 record over the French top seed on hard courts, with all three wins having come this season. As a result, if this match is forced indoors, the American must surely be accounted the favourite. If, as will hopefully be the case, this match is able to played outdoors on the grass, however, Caroline Garcia will surely feel rather more confident. Brady lost her only grass-court match so far this season which came in the first round in Surbiton.
Garcia, though yet to play on grass so far this year, has a fine record on the surface in her career. Her combination of clean hitting from the back of the court and deft touch at the net makes her a formidable foe on a fast, slick grass court. Thus, whilst she was not at her best in the quarterfinals against Elena-Gabriela Ruse, the top seed should have enough to book her place in the final, which would be just her second of the year.
Prediction: Garcia in three.
Embed from Getty Images