WTA Istanbul Quarterfinal Predictions Including Elise Mertens vs Katerina Siniakova

Veronika Kudermetova in action ahead of the WTA Istanbul Cup.

With the European clay-court swing now well underway, the eight players left in the field at the WTA Istanbul Cup will surely be desperate to continue their charge in Turkey’s second city, particularly with WTA 1000 tournaments looming large on the horizon in Madrid and Rome. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every quarterfinal, but who will reach the last four?

WTA Istanbul Cup Quarterfinal Predictions

Ana Konjuh vs Marta Kostyuk

Head-to-head: first meeting

Marta Kostyuk has not enjoyed the most productive start to 2021 – although of course it must be remembered that the Ukrainian is yet to celebrate her 19th birthday – but she has found some form so far at the WTA Istanbul Cup. The teenager opened her campaign by accounting for fellow young gun Kamila Rakhimova in straight-sets and she backed that up with an excellent 6-3 7-5 win over fourth seed Daria Kasatkina. Her next challenge will be to get the better of Ana Konjuh.

The Croatian, who is on the comeback trail after a succession of injuries, remains ranked outside the top 200, but she has played some fine tennis this season and looked sharp in beating Sara Errani and Wang Qiang, losing just 12 games in the process. This looks likely to be a closer contest, but it is Konjuh, despite her lengthy absence from the game, who has more big-match experience and clay-court pedigree. Expect her to edge out Kostyuk.

Prediction: Konjuh in 3
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Sorana Cirstea vs Fiona Ferro

Head-to-head: Cirstea 1-0 Ferro

This feels like an important match for both women. Fiona Ferro looked to have made her breakthrough last season when she won her first WTA title in Palermo and then reached the fourth round at the French Open. But injuries have hampered her progress since and this season has been broadly disappointing for the Frenchwoman. But she made an excellent start to her week by dismissing second seed Petra Martic in straight sets before beating Vera Zvonareva 6-3 6-3 to reach the last eight.

Waiting for her is Sorana Cirstea, who has picked up battling straight-sets wins over Katerina Kozlova and Anastasia Potapova so far in Istanbul. The Romanian also won this pair’s only previous meeting which came in 2017 at this very event. However, a repeat does not look particularly likely. Ferro has improved considerably in the intervening four years and is now the higher-ranked player of the two. Expect her to justify that ranking with a victory here.

Prediction: Ferro in 3
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Elise Mertens vs Katerina Siniakova

Head-to-head: Mertens 3-0 Siniakova

Elise Mertens will be the favourite heading into this match, with the top-seeded Belgian having made a fine start to her season, posting a 15-4 record so far in 2021. That includes a 6-2 6-0 win against Laura Arruabarrena in her opener at the WTA Istanbul Cup and a 6-4 4-6 6-1 win over Viktorija Golubic in the second round. But Mertens did show some signs of vulnerability in that match, vulnerabilities which Katerina Siniakova will surely hope to take advantage of.

The Czech has lost all three of their previous meetings, but all three were contested on hard courts and she is a different proposition on the clay. She has demonstrated as much by beating Cristina Bucsa and Kristina Mladenovic so far this week. Nonetheless, although the slower clay affords Siniakova more time to wind up her powerful groundstrokes, this is clearly a matchup that Mertens has enjoyed. This may prove to be a close contest, but expect the top seed to ultimately prove too strong for Siniakova.

Prediction: Mertens in 3
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Veronika Kudermetova vs Ana Bogdan

Head-to-head: Bogdan 3-0 Kudermetova

It is a testament to the strides that Veronika Kudermetova has made this season that despite having lost all three of her previous matches with Ana Bogdan, she arguably heads into their fourth encounter the favourite. She is certainly amongst the form players on the WTA Tour having won her last eight matches, dropping just one set in the process. But Bogdan too has impressed so far at the WTA Istanbul Cup, beating Nao Hibino and Barbora Krejcikova, both in straight sets.

One imagines that there will be relatively little danger of Kudermetova underestimating the Romanian thanks to their history. She would be right to treat Bogdan with respect. The 28-year-old’s excellent court-coverage typically makes her a hard player to beat and she is more than capable of turning defence into attack even when on the stretch. Still, Kudermetova should have enough power to keep Bogdan on the back foot and to book her place in the semifinals.

Prediction: Kudermetova in 3

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