WTA Linz Open Quarterfinal Predictions Including Elise Mertens vs Veronika Kudermetova

Elise Mertens in action at the WTA Linz Open

Just eight players remain in contention for the 2020 WTA Linz Open, with three players looking the most likely to go all the way in Austria. But on quarterfinals day, with four intriguing matches on the slate, who do you have making the semifinals in Linz?

WTA Linz Open Quarterfinal Predictions

Barbora Krejcikova vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Head-to-head: Krejcikova 1-0 Sasnovich

Barbora Krejcikova, has for the most part, been a doubles specialist, and she has excelled in that format, winning two Grand Slam titles. But lately her results in singles have also improved significantly. She made the fourth round at the French Open, before coming through the qualifying at the most recent WTA tour-level event in Ostrava. She lost in the first round there, but to eventual runner-up Victoria Azarenka, and she took a set off the Belarusian,

So far in Linz, Krejcikova has claimed nail-biting wins over Harmony Tan and Greet Minnen, despite not quite being at her best. She has, however, showcased her ability to win points in multiple ways and has performed well under pressure. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, meanwhile, does not play much indoor tennis these days, but she has an excellent record in indoor conditions, albeit having mostly played at ITF-level. She has also been more convincing so far in Linz, beating Bernarda Pera and Jana Fett, and has the big groundstrokes to take the racquet out of her opponent’s hands.

Prediction: Sasnovich in 3
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Nadia Podoroska vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Head-to-head: first meeting

This has been a breakout year for Nadia Podoroska. After enjoying some great results on the ITF circuit, the Argentine really announced herself with a stunning run to the French Open semifinals. The WTA Linz Open is the first tournament she has played since that thrilling fortnight in Paris and, despite having played very little indoor tennis in her career, her wins over Irina-Camelia Begu and Camila Giorgi suggest that she can be a factor in these conditions as well as on her favoured clay.

She certainly cannot be written off as a one-tournament wonder. But will she have enough to get the better of Ekaterina Alexandrova? The Russian has the edge in experience, having reached the final in Linz two years ago, losing to Giorgi, and she has a generally fantastic win/loss record playing indoors. So far this week, she has dispatched Katerina Siniakova and Varvara Gracheva without encountering much resistance and her level off the ground should be just about too good for Podoroska.

Prediction: Alexandrova in 3
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Aryna Sabalenka vs Oceane Dodin

Head-to-head: Sabalenka 1-0 Dodin

Will it be easy for the top seed? Perhaps not, but it is hard to pick against Aryna Sabalenka. The Belarusian found her groove after a difficult start last time out in Ostrava and has been dominating opponents since, including Azarenka who she dismissed for the loss of only four games in the final in Ostrava. She is definitely a player who relies on being in a good rhythm, but when she is there are not many who are able to stop her, as Jasmine Paolini and Stefanie Voegele have discovered this week.

That said, Oceane Dodin should not be underestimated. The French qualifier has an excellent record indoors and won a title at ITF-level in similar conditions in Reims two weeks ago. She will also surely be full of confidence having won four matches already this week, dropping just one set in the process, and if Sabalenka is not at her best, Dodin has the quality to pull off the upset. But, considering how well Sabalenka has played in her last four matches, it is hard to see her rich vein of form ending here.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
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Elise Mertens vs Veronika Kudermetova

Head-to-head: Mertens 2-0 Kudermetova

Elise Mertens defeated Veronika Kudermetova comfortably when they met at the US Open earlier this year. The Russian will be hoping to keep things much closer when they meet again at the WTA Linz Open. The indoor conditions may aid her in that ambition, with Kudermetova playing well in Ostrava where she reached the quarterfinals (lost to Jennifer Brady) and she has maintained that fine form so far in Austria, thrashing Barbora Haas without even losing a single game in the first round.

She did drop the second set against Arantxa Rus in the last 16, but she rallied in time to complete a 6-4 1-6 6-3 win. However, Mertens’ consistency deserves respect. Her last six defeats have all been at the hands of elite opponents (Simona Halep, Azarenka twice, Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka), except a hard-fought loss against the always dangerous Carolina Garcia in the third round in Paris. Her game might not be as flashy as Kudermetova’s, but it is extremely efficient and Mertens is an excellent problem solver. Expect her to find a way past the less reliable Kudermetova.

Prediction: Mertens in 3

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