There should be plenty of entertaining action on semifinals day at the WTA Istanbul Cup. All four women left standing have played some excellent tennis so far this week and will surely be full of belief that they can claim the title. But who will book their place in the final and who will fall to defeat?
WTA Istanbul Cup Semifinal Predictions
Marta Kostyuk vs Sorana Cirstea
Head-to-head: first meeting
After a largely indifferent start to the season, at least since her run to the semifinals in Abu Dhabi in the first week of the season, Mara Kostyuk has found some form at the WTA Istanbul Cup. The 18-year-old opened her campaign in Turkey’s second city with a composed 6-4 6-3 win over fellow young gun Kamila Rakhimova and she backed that up by beating fourth seed Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-5. She then secured her place in the last four with a battling 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over Ana Konjuh.
Sorana Cirstea too had found few reasons to celebrate during the early weeks of 2021. Arriving in Istanbul, the Romanian’s best effort was reaching the third round at the Australian Open, but she has looked sharp so far this week. In the first round, she proved too strong for Katerina Kozlova, claiming a 7-6 6-4 win, and she then accounted for Anastasia Potapova, also in straight sets, before Fiona Ferro retired trailing 4-6 to send her into the semifinals.
This looks to have the makings of a close contest. The Ukrainian is the more naturally aggressive of the two and she has played her best tennis this week when on the front foot. Her willingness to move forward and finish points at the net has been a particularly impressive feature of her tennis this week. But she may also have to contend with fatigue and is short of experience. Up against a solid opponent in Cirstea, this might well prove to be a bridge too far for the teenager.
Prediction: Cirstea in 3
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Elise Mertens vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head-to-head: Mertens 3-0 Kudermetova
After a broadly impressive start to the season, highlighted by a run to the title at the WTA Gippsland Trophy as well as a semifinal finish in Dubai, Elise Mertens had reasons to feel confident arriving at the WTA Istanbul Cup. That has been reflected in her tennis so far. The Belgian opened her campaign with a 6-0 6-2 win over Laura Arruabarrena, before battling past Viktorija Golubic in three sets to reach the quarterfinals. Mertens beat Katerina Siniakova there, 6-4 6-4, to book her place in the last four.
Katerina Siniakova, meanwhile, arrived at the WTA Istanbul Cup fresh from winning the title in Charleston. She was tested in the first round by Bernarda Pera, but edged out the America in a third-set tiebreak. Kudermetova then dismissed Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in straight sets before rallying from a set down to beat Ana Bogdan in the quarterfinals. However, this is not a match up Kudermetova has enjoyed. She has many qualities, but it is hard to see her getting the better of Mertens on a clay court.
Prediction: Mertens in 2
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