The WTA St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy is rapidly approaching the finish line. Russian women thoroughly dominated this event, claiming all but one of the singles quarterfinal spots and all four semifinal berths. Two legendary figures and two streaky youngsters remain in contention. A local will emerge victorious on Sunday, but who?
WTA St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy Semifinal Predictions
Margarita Gasparyan vs Vera Zvonareva
Head to head: Zvonareva 1-0 Gasparyan
After a quiet Aussie summer, Gasparyan has been racking up indoor wins in March. She quietly picked up three victories in Lyon, where she lost to Kiki Mladenovic. In Saint Petersburg, she avenged her loss to the Frenchwoman right away, backing up that upset with wins over Katerina Siniakova and top seed Ekaterina Alexandrova. This run will vault the 26-year-old back to the Top 100. On top of that, her one-handed backhand has been making waves on social media.
The bad news for Gasparyan is that Zvonareva easily dismantled her 6-2 6-2 at this venue last year. Furthermore, the veteran is sneakily playing solid tennis. Of her four losses this year, only one came in straights, to World No. 5 Elina Svitolina. At 36, Zvonareva is removed from her peak, but she’s still a tough out. Expect her consistency to prevail against Gasparyan’s flashes of brilliance, especially if the latter doesn’t put a high first serve percentage in
Prediction: Zvonareva in 2
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Daria Kasatkina
Head to head: first meeting
How bizarre it is that these two haven’t played each other yet? Kasatkina has been a full-time tour-level player since 2016 and Kuznetsova’s longevity, while underappreciated, is well-known. The younger Russian will attempt to make her first final in St. Petersburg, having lost a pair of semis in 2016 and 2018. After a long drought of over two years, Kasatkina captured the Phillip Island title. She’s still riding positive momentum at the Baltic Sea shore, upending the red-hot Clara Tauson, the ever dangerous Aliaksandra Sasnovich and No. 2 seed Veronika Kudermetova, to whom only conceded 2/15 break points.
For her part, Kuznetsova took advantage of a much less dangerous quarter of the draw, as both Xin Yu Wang and Jacqueline Christian are ranked outside the Top 150. The two-time Major champion hasn’t impressed, though. Brace yourselves for a long, tactical battle. Third time will be the charm for Kasatkina.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 2
Main Photo from Getty.