WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy Quarterfinal Predictions Including Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Margarita Gasparyan

Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Qatar Open

Seven of the eight quarterfinalists in St Petersburg are Russian. As such, it is looking inevitable that we will se a home grown talent lifting the St Petersburg trophy at the end of the week. #1 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova remains the favorite to lift the trophy. However, #4 seed Kuznetsova and former World #10 have looked good this week as well. With all eight remaining players in action on Friday, we will have a good idea who’s claim to the title is strongest by the end of the day’s play. As always, we will do our best to pick the victor in each of those matches in our WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarterfinal predictions.

WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy Quarterfinal Predictions

Anastasia Gasanova vs Vera Zvonareva

Head-to-head: First meeting

I’ll be the first to admit I am surprised to see Gasanova still in action in St Petersburg. The young Russian has willed her way to the quarterfinals despite being outgunned in both of her previous matches. Her upset win over Pavlyuchenkova was particularly impressive. While Gasanova doesn’t possess the power to excel on these courts, her shot placement has been impeccable and she has played superb defense so far this week. That strategy has served her well against two aggressive ball strikers who varied little from their preferred games. However, Zvonareva represents a different challenge for the young Russian.

In the twilight of her career, Zvonareva can’t blast opponents off the court the way she once did. She still has a powerful and effective serve, but has to play more defense and counterpunching tennis in rallies than she once did. That being said, she is the more powerful player in this matchup. Gasanova’s serve needs work and is very attackable at the moment. Zvonareva was more than happy to go after Ferro’s serve in her last match, and a similar strategy here should pay dividends for the tour veteran. Provided she isn’t wayward too often as a result of her aggression, Zvonareva should put an end to Gasanova’s run in St Petersburg.
prediction: Zvonareva in 2

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Jaqueline Cristian vs Svetlana Kuznetsova

Head-to-head: First meeting

This is quickly turning into a dream week for world #160 Cristian. The Romanian put away 2015 St Petersburg ITF champion Ostapenko in her last match in convincing fashion. Cristian has a big game, but few would have picked her to be able to live with the firepower of Ostapenko. However, she was brave and aggressive – particularly in going after Ostapenko’s weak serve – and deservedly won the match. She now faces #4 seed Kuznetsova for a place in the semifinals

Kuznetsova did well to fend off a late push from rising star Xinyu Wang in her last match. The Chinese made the second set a close-fought affair, but Kuznetsova came through eventually. The Russian remains one of the best counterpunchers on the women’s tour. While she doesn’t hit the biggest ball, the fast courts of St Petersburg give her groundstrokes extra zip and make her a very tough opponent. Cristian has had a great run here, but beating the former US Open champion looks to be one step too far for the young Romanian.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 2

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Daria Kasatkina vs Veronica Kudermetova

Head-to-head: First meeting

The two in form Russians on the women’s tour this year are set to face off in what should be a thrilling match. Kudermetova started the year with a final appearance in Abu Dhabi whilst Kasatkina lifted the Philips Island Trophy in Melbourne. Both were pushed to deciding set tiebreakers in their last matches. Kudermetova has more power and a bigger serve, but Kasatkina has more court craft and variety.

Ordinarily fast indoor courts favour bigger hitters. However, Kasatkina’s variety should cause Kudermetova problems here. Kasatkina can generate substantial power too when playing well, particularly off the backhand wing. The former world #10 has looked very good so far this year, and should come through this match if she continues playing at that level.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 3

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Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Margarita Gasparyan

Head-to-head: First Meeting

Gasparyan’s backhand was red hot in her victory over Katerina Siniakova in the last round. The Russian showed signs of promise in Lyon two weeks ago, and has built on that with some solid performances in St Petersburg. Her aggressive groundstrokes, particularly on that backhand wing, are serving her well on the fast indoor courts. She has done well to best two tough opponents so far in Mladenovic and Siniakova. However, she now faces her toughest test by far in Alexandrova.

The #1 seed did will to put away Martincova in straight sets. The Czech gave her problems in the past, but Alexandrova looked dominant throughout. She has done well to shake off two first round exits on the bounce and will now be hoping to move a step closer towards another WTA title. Both players have a big game, but Alexandrova is dangerous off both wings whereas Gasparyan relies heavily on her backhand prowess. Alexandrova also has the better serve of the two. Given Gasparyan’s level this week, this match should go the distance. However, if Alexandrova serves well she should advance to the semifinals.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 3

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