Just two women remain in contention at the WTA Saint-Malo Open after what has been a week of entertaining tennis. Both will surely be desperate to lay their hands on the WTA 125 title, particularly with the French Open just weeks away. But will it be Jasmine Paolini or Viktorija Golubic who comes out on top in Brittany?
WTA Saint-Malo Open Final Prediction
Jasmine Paolini vs Viktorija Golubic
Head-to-head: Golubic 1-0 Paolini
Paolini did not arrive at the WTA Saint-Malo in particularly impressive form, having won just eight matches across the first four months of the year, but she has played some excellent tennis so far this week. The Italian opened her campaign against Elsa Jacquemot, edging out the Frenchwoman in a three-set thriller to reach the second round. She was tested again there, losing the first set, but seized control of the match thereafter to record a 4-6 6-2 6-1 win over seventh seed Nina Stojanovic.
That set up a quarterfinal clash with Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. Schmiedlova had played some solid tennis to make the last eight, but offered relatively little resistance to Paolini who picked up a comprehensive 7-5 6-3 win to reach her first semifinal of the season. There, she delivered her best performance of the week so far to thrash young gun Varvara Gracheva for the loss of only four games. That win will surely have given her real confidence heading into the final.
Golubic, meanwhile, has enjoyed an excellent start to the season. Although she has played much of her tennis below tour-level, there is no disputing the form she has been in. The Swiss’ has now recorded 30 wins this season and will be playing in her fifth final. She started her campaign at the WTA Saint-Malo Open with a 6-2 7-6 win over Clara Burel and Golubic backed that up by battling past Greet Minnen in three sets, 6-4 4-6 7-6.
In the quarterfinals, she was utterly dominant against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, dropping just one game to the Belarusian. That set up a semifinal clash with home hope Harmony Tan, who was the last Frenchwoman standing. Tan had claimed some fine wins to reach the last four and the first set was competitive. But Golubic won it in a tiebreak and the Swiss was more comfortable in the second, eventually wrapping up a deserved 7-6 6-3 win.
This promises to be a close contest. Golubic did win their only previous meeting comfortably, but that match was contested seven years ago whilst Paolini was still a teenager and on a hard court. Nonetheless, Golubic must be considered the favourite once again. She has been one of the most consistently impressive performers in the women’s game this season and has been striking the ball very cleanly in Saint-Malo. This match may well go the distance, but expect Golubic to have the edge.
Prediction: Golubic in 3
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