The action at the WTA Phillip Island Trophy is set to continue on semifinals day at Melbourne Park and there should be plenty of entertaining tennis, with two intriguing semifinals on the slate. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for both matches, but who will book their place in the final?
WTA Phillip Island Trophy Semifinal Predictions
Danielle Collins vs Daria Kasatkina
Head-to-head: Kasatkina 1-0 Collins
After disappointing campaigns at the Australian Open, although it should be noted that both received tough draws, Danielle Collins and Daria Kasatkina have bounced back impressively at the WTA Phillip Island Trophy. The American, who received a first-round bye as the eighth seed, was not quite at her best in her opener against her compatriot Varvara Lepchenko, but after losing the first set in a tiebreak, she rallied to complete a 6-7 6-1 6-3 victory.
She has been largely untroubled since, beating Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-4 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals, where she thrashed 16th seed Rebecca Peterson 6-1 6-2. Kasatkina has made similarly serene progress through the draw in Melbourne. In the first round, she beat Katie Boulter for the second time in as many weeks and she backed that up by dismissing her compatriot Varvara Gracheva, 6-3 6-4, to reach the last 16. There she was tested by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but emerged a 2-6 6-1 6-4 winner.
That set up a quarterfinal clash with Petra Martic, who had beaten her in both of their previous meetings. But Kasatkina was not to be denied at the WTA Phillip Island Trophy, winning 6-0 6-4. However, she will almost certainly be given a tougher examination by Collins, who appears to be enjoying the fast low-bouncing conditions in Melbourne. Indeed, the American’s greater affinity for first-strike tennis on quick courts should give her the edge in what looks likely to be a close contest.
Prediction: Collins in 3
Marie Bouzkova vs Bianca Andreescu
Head-to-head: Andreescu 2-0 Bouzkova
One imagines that 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu was less than satisfied by her efforts at the Australian Open, where she crashed out in the second round at the hands of Hsieh Su-wei, taking just five games off the Taiwanese. But her efforts at the WTA Phillip Island Trophy have been rather more encouraging. The Canadian, after a first-round bye, began her week with a hard-fought 7-6 4-6 6-3 win over Madison Brengle, before reaching the quarterfinals courtesy of Zarina Diyas’ mid-match retirement.
In the last eight, she was given a real test by Irina-Camelia Begu, who has been playing some fine tennis since the start of the season. But the Canadian held her nerve to claim a 6-3 4-6 7-6 win and a place in the semifinals. Waiting for her will be Marie Bouzkova. The Czech is another player to have received a tough draw at the Australian Open, where she lost in the first round to the fifth seed Elina Svitolina, but she has looked sharp so far at the WTA Phillip Island Trophy.
After a slow start against Danka Kovinic, who retired hurt 0-5 down in the second set after winning the first, Bouzkova scored convincing wins over Zhu Lin and Gabriella Da Silva Fick, before edging out Jil Teichmann in the quarterfinals. Her performances have certainly been impressive enough to suggest that she can trouble the Canadian, despite having lost both of their previous matches. But Andreescu, although hardly dominant, has been finding a way to grind out wins. Expect her to do so again.
Prediction: Andreescu in 3
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