Only two of the top 10 seeds have survived the rolling parade of upsets at WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati. One of them will be world #1 Ashleigh Barty who is targeting to reach her fifth final of 2021. We have semifinal predictions for you including fifth seed Karolina Pliskova’s meeting against the unseeded Jil Teichmann.
WTA Cincinnati Semifinal Predictions
Ashleigh Barty vs Angelique Kerber
Head-to-head: Barty 3-3 Kerber
Ashleigh Barty has had a sensational season by her own lofty standards. Five finals and four titles to her name including the Wimbledon title just a month ago. Incidentally, she faces Angelique Kerber in the last four here – the woman she beat in the semifinals at the All England Club.
Kerber secured her passage into the semifinals after Petra Kvitova was forced to retire due to illness. The German lefty has enjoyed some sort of resurgence in Ohio, authoring upset wins over the likes of Maria Sakkari and Elina Svitolina in the earlier rounds. But can she keep up this level against the in-form Aussie?
Barty’s finesse and creativity are above anyone else on the women’s tour right now. The manner of her straight-sets beatdown of Victoria Azarenka in the Round of 16 was completely unheard of. Plus, she possesses one of the best serves in the game thanks in part to her fine-tuning of pace and precision. Barty has won the most service games this season of 80.7%. Granted Kerber is in fine fettle, Barty’s toolbox has too many weapons to swing this match in her favor.
Prediction: Barty in 3
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Karolina Pliskova vs Jil Teichmann
Head-to-head: first meeting
Karolina Pliskova withstood a tough test against the rapidly improving Paula Badosa to book her place in the semifinals. The Spanish world #29 threatened to give the Czech a run-around as she raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set. But Pliskova roared back and snatched the set against the run of play, reeling seven out of the last eight games. But Badosa wouldn’t finish the match due to a shoulder injury.
Teichmann, meanwhile, extended her giant-killing run with a 6-3 6-2 win over compatriot Belinda Bencic. And following her career-best win over Naomi Osaka, she is bidding to become the fourth straight unseeded finalist at the Western & Southern Open.
Pliskova has played possum this week. She fought back from losing positions against her bogey opponent Jessica Pegula in the Round of 16, and most notably against Badosa. The Czech has been efficient on serve where she has been broken just six times from 23 attempts. However, the Swiss southpaw is an aggressive returner and maintains a solid presence from the baseline.
Teichmann’s punchy serve is an underrated aspect of her game. She also packs a powerful forehand which she used effectively to outmuscle Naomi Osaka and Bencic. With that said, if the wildcard excels in robbing Pliskova of time and space, and taking her out of her comfort zone – in a manner Camila Giorgi did so well in Montreal – another upset is on the cards.
Prediction: Teichmann in 3
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