The top two seeds, Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens, still have a shot at clinching the 2020 Linz Open title. Trying to stop them will be 2018 runner-up Ekaterina Alexandrova, and a surprise semifinalist, Barbora Krejcikova. Who do you got advancing to Sunday’s final?
Aryna Sabalenka vs Barbora Krejcikova
Head-to-head: First meeting
Usually “just” an excellent doubles specialist (two Grand Slam titles), Barbora Krejcikova has been pretty amazing lately in singles play as well. The Czech won 9 of her last 11 matches and impressed in her straight-set dismissal of Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the quarterfinals here.
However, she’ll be facing an uphill battle against the top seed, Aryna Sabalenka. After barely making it to the quarterfinals in Ostrava, Sabalenka somehow found an extremely rich vein of form. The Belarusian seems to be a confidence-driven player and not many can keep up against her huge power. She won the last 12 sets she played and seems to have maintained the form that saw her eventually lift the title in Ostrava. If she can keep the error count low, Krejcikova shouldn’t be able to dismantle the power-hitting with her variety.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
Elise Mertens vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
Head-to-head: Alexandrova 1-0
This seems much closer than the other semifinal. Ekaterina Alexandrova has enjoyed a lot of success at this event in the past, finishing runner-up in 2018 (as a qualifier) and making the semifinals last year. The Russian is in excellent shape again, which was especially evident in her routing of Nadia Podoroska on Friday. She has an excellent record indoors and can always be expected to make a deep run in these conditions.
Seeded second for the event, Elise Mertens is a bit more of a question mark. The Belgian had a couple of questionable moments this week and had to pull out from a few sticky situations. Alexandrova’s game is really well suited to the conditions in Linz and if she can stay on top of the rallies and take time away from Mertens by taking the balls early, she is definitely capable of making this (slight) upset.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 3
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