After a thrilling week of tennis at this crucial Australian Open warm-up event, just four women remain in the draw, with the battle for the title set to intensify from here on in. But who will book their place in Saturday’s final at the Adelaide International?
Adelaide International Semifinal Predictions
Dayana Yastremska vs Aryna Sabalenka
Head-to-head: Yastremska 2-0 Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka may have started her 2020 in disappointing fashion, losing in the second round at the Shenzhen Open, but she has rebounded impressively at the Adelaide International. The Belarusian opened her campaign in South Australia by battling past the often tricky Hsieh Su-wei from a set down, before delivering an assured performance to get the better of qualifier Bernarda Pera, 7-6 6-2. Then, in what was a scintillating display of attacking tennis, she thrashed second seed Simona Halep 6-4 6-2.
Dayana Yastremska too has looked in fine touch so far at the Adelaide International. The Ukrainian, who enjoyed a breakthrough 2019, overpowered lucky loser Timea Babos in the first round, before advancing courtesy of Angelique Kerber’s second-set retirement in the round of 16. That set up a quarterfinal clash with Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Yastremska entered that match with a perfect 2-0 head-to-head lead and she was on top throughout, claiming a deserved 6-4 6-3 victory.
Both women will look to dominate this match from the back of the court, with both possessing formidable power off the ground. Of the two, Sabalenka hits the bigger ball, but Yastremska imparts relatively little topspin, particularly off the forehand side, which can make her extremely difficult to defend against. And whilst Sabalenka has looked comfortable against the more conservative Pera and Halep, Yastremska’s power could well make it a difficult day for the sixth seed, who has lost both her previous meetings with the Ukrainian.
Prediction: Yastremska in 3
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Ashleigh Barty vs Danielle Collins
Head-to-head: Barty 2-0 Collins
Ashleigh Barty had not quite looked to have found her feet yet in 2020 when she stepped onto court against Marketa Vondrousova, who had been in formidable form, having beaten Tatjana Maria 6-3 6-0 and Arina Rodionova 6-0 6-0. But in comfortably her best performance of the year so far, the Australian world #1 once again proved too good for the Czech teenager, winning 6-3 6-3 in their first meeting since the 2019 French Open final.
Danielle Collins, meanwhile, has once again been enjoying the conditions in Australia. The American reached the semifinals at Melbourne Park in 2019 and has looked sharp so far at the Adelaide International, picking up fine wins over Aliaksandra Sasnovich and seventh seed Sofia Kenin to reach the quarterfinals. There, she hammered world #7 Belinda Bencic, 6-3 6-1, to make her first semifinal of the year. But she has struggled against Barty so far in their rivalry.
That said, although Barty has won both of their previous meetings in singles, those matches came in quick succession on the European clay last season. On the quick hard courts of Australia, the aggressively minded Collins might be able to do more damage to the Australian, particularly if she can get on top of her serve. However, Barty’s sliced backhand and topspin forehand have been looking increasingly dangerous and she will look to use both to keep Collins off balance and on the move. Expect that to pay dividends for the world’s best.
Prediction: Barty in 3
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