WTA Dubai Semifinal Predictions including Simona Halep vs Jennifer Brady

Simona Halep Adelaide International

The semifinal matches are set at WTA Dubai, and in keeping with the tournament as a whole they look incredibly close to call.

The standard of play in the quarterfinals was excellent with winners hitting the corners of the court. A lot of the favourites came unstuck as they were unable to take the opportunities they created, the most vital part of the game.

WTA Dubai Semifinal Predictions

Elena Rybakina vs Petra Martic

Head-to-Head Record: First meeting

The young Kazakh is on an incredible roll right now. However, watching her demeanor on court and listening to her being interviewed it is clear that she is exceptionally down-to-earth. She even stated on her on-court interview after beating the world #3 Karolina Pliskova that she was extremely relaxed on the court. This is such an amazing attitude for such a young player, if she continues to play in that way in the big moments surely great things are destined for her.

Speaking of playing well in the big moments, Martic also did this in her quarterfinal versus Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian created seven break points but only took one, in the second game of the match. Martic was able to use her variety and her excellent defensive skills to force Kontaveit to go for too much. After saving a set point in the first set Martic managed to nick it in a tiebreak and this seemed to mentally break Kontaveit.

This mental weakness hasn’t really been seen in the Rybakina game so far but there is a concern for the Kazakh in this match-up. Martic’s use of the drop shot was really effective against Kontaveit and if I was her coach I would be suggesting a similar tactic against Rybakina. The only area Rybakina needs a lot of improvement in is moving forward and volleying. If Martic can drag Rybakina around the court, especially forward, then she could get the advantage in this match.

This is easier said than done of course, especially on the Rybakina serve. The stats suggest this should be a service dominated match, both women hold serve on hard court around 80% of the time. Momentum suggests that Rybakina should win this match, but I just think this might be a bad match-up for the youngster and Martic could throw her off her game enough to get a narrow victory.
Prediction: Martic in 3

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Simona Halep vs Jennifer Brady

Head-to-Head Record: Halep 2-0 Brady

A repeat of the Australian Open big first-round clash. Back in Melbourne Brady served for the first set but couldn’t see it out. That momentum shift was never changed and Halep became more and more comfortable in the match and went on to win in straight sets.

It was a similar story for the Romanian in the quarterfinals of this tournament. She did lose the first set to Aryna Sabalenka but impressively wrested control of the match. Halep was actually impressive on serve, with a 72% first serve percentage. Perhaps even more impressive Halep had a higher win percentage on her second serve, I had thought that would be under threat against Sabalenka but Halep resisted.

This match may go a similar way. Halep seems to be really determined this week. Two comeback victories would suggest that and she will need to be ready for a fight against Brady. This is the American’s first semifinal at Premier level. It is also her seventh match at the tournament and surely her mental and physical stamina must be under pressure. Expect Halep to make it to the final.
Prediction: Halep in 3

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