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We arrive in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Istanbul Cup. The top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova has been eliminated by Eugenie Bouchard, who seems to be on her way to build a great run. Who will advance to the final four?
Polona Hercog vs Paula Badosa Gibert
Head-to-head: Badosa Gibert 1-0
Paula Badosa Gibert owns a head-to-head win over Polona Hercog on clay. It came two years ago in Morocco and was considered a pretty big upset at that point. The 2015 French Open juniors champion has progressed quite a bit from that point and another win over Hercog wouldn’t come as that much of a surprise. Badosa Gibert’s second-round straightforward win over Sara Sorribes Tormo was pretty impressive, but she might struggle more against a more powerful opponent. Hercog chose not to go to the US and got a lot of clay court practice in, which showed in her dismissals of Berfu Cengiz and Jasmine Paolini. If Hercog keeps her opponent on the back foot, she should prevail.
Prediction: Hercog in 3
Eugenie Bouchard vs Danka Kovinic
Head-to-head: Bouchard 1-0
Eugenie Bouchard is a shadow of her former self, but she usually finds some form for a week or two during a season. This Istanbul Cup campaign has been great for her, starting from qualifying against solid opponents and onto back-to-back main-draw wins for the third time this year already. This is a huge improvement from 2019, where Bouchard at one point had a 13-match losing streak. Her second-round here against Svetlana Kuznetsova is of the highest quality, although finishing it could have been way less messy (Bouchard led 7-6 4-1, then wasted three match points to let it go to the decider). But still, the Canadian is playing great tennis this week and should have more than enough for Danka Kovinic. The Montenegro-native is good enough to give her a fight though and she’s been pretty impressive in wins over Kateryna Bondarenko and Alison van Uytvanck.
Prediction: Bouchard in 2
Tereza Martincova vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
Head-to-head: Martincova 1-0
Aliaksandra Sasnovich has been playing some great tennis recently, reaching the third round at the US Open. Before going to New York, she also finished as a quarterfinalist in Palermo, losing to Petra Martic. The Belarusian struggled to make a smooth transition to clay her but has since managed to up her level. Both her first two matches saw her comeback from a set and a break down. Tereza Martincova managed to upset Caroline Garcia, who failed to transfer her US Open run to a decent level on clay. The Czech won this game with consistency off the ground but it might not be enough for Sasnovich. Somewhat surprisingly, it’s Martincova who won their sole meeting, three years ago at a WTA event in Prague. Despite that comfortable victory, Sasnovich is the one playing better tennis right now and she’ll be attacking with much more consistency than Garcia did.
Prediction: Sasnovich in 2
Rebecca Peterson vs Patricia Maria Tig
Head-to-head: Peterson 1-0
Rebecca Peterson had a first-round bye in this event and only played five games in the second round. This might actually hurt her against an opponent who’s already won two matches. Patricia Maria Tig’s wins over Olga Danilovic and Misaki Doi were impressive and it’s good to see the talented Romanian back in form. Her progress was halted by an injury hiatus, during which she also gave birth to a daughter. She’s on the right track in her tennis career again it seems and might be able to find an upset win over Peterson. The Swede hasn’t been playing well recently and her success on clay, historically, came only on the ITF Tour. She has a win over Tig back from 2016, but based on recent form, this one should be much closer.
Prediction: Tig in 3