WTA Kremlin Cup Day 4 Predictions Including Maria Sakkari vs Anna Kalinskaya

Seven of the top eight seeds remain in the mix as we head into Thursday’s action in Moscow. The only one of those eight yet to play is Maria Sakkari. The Greek Phenom headlines our WTA Kremlin Cup day 4 predictions and justifiably so. Sakkari is currently ranked #7 in the world and has made two Grand Slam semifinals in 2021. She is yet to win a title this year, but is certainly a frontrunner here given her form over the last 12 months. With that in mind, we take a look at who among those in action on Thursday should feature in the quarterfinal matches on Friday.

WTA Kremlin Cup Day 4 Predictions

Anett Kontaveit vs Andrea Petkovic

Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Kontaveit

Everything points to a win for Anett Kontaveit here. The Estonian is in better form and has a bigger game that the fast courts in Moscow will reward. She was also extremely convincing in her first round win against Katerina Siniakova. By contrast, Andrea Petkovic is probably lucky to be here after Jelena Ostapenko was forced to retire from their first round encounter. Kontaveit has two titles to her name already this year and is a dark horse for a third here. If she can play with sensible margins on her shots and keep her error count down, she should win relatively easily. Petkovic is no slouch on the tennis court. However, she isn’t the player she once was and doesn’t have the power to live with Kontaveit from the baseline.

Prediction: Kontaveit in 2
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Marketa Vondrousova vs Lesia Tsurenko

Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Tsurenko

Marketa Vondrousova was clinical in putting away Elena Rybakina in her first round encounter. The Czech lefty has had a very good year this year. She looks set to continue her rise to the top of the game in 2022 and a good run here would go a long way towards ending her season on a high. She faces a seasoned veteran in Lesia Tsurenko in the second round and has to like her chances of moving on. Tsurenko was a formidable foe in her hay day, but she has lost a step or two in recent years. She did well to best young Chinese star Qinwen Zheng in her last match. However, she looks set to finish the year outside the top 100 for the second year in a row and will need to play at a level far higher than that to best Vondrousova here. The Czech won’t have it all her way, but she should win enough points to advance without too much trouble.

Prediction: Vondrousova in 2
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Simona Halep vs Veronika Kudermetova

Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Halep

Simona Halep looked very good in her first round win against Anastasia Potapova. The Romanian has had a quiet year in 2021 after winning a Grand Slam in 2018 and 2019 respectively. However, injuries have made this season challenging, and she will surely be happy to end it with a title under her belt. If she is to do precisely that she must first get past Veronika Kudermetova. One of several home favourites remaining here in Moscow, Kudermetova survived a tough match against compatriot Oksana Selekhmeteva to earn her spot in round two. She will need to raise her game considerably if she is to challenge Halep here. Even if she does, I don’t see her winning. Halep moved well in her last match and looks ready to defend and counterpunch all day. She is also more aggressive when the chance to be presents itself, something that many in the tennis world have wanted to see for some time. She should win here and may well win a few more if she keeps this level up.

Prediction: Halep in 3
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Maria Sakkari vs Anna Kalinskaya

Head-to-head: First meeting

Moscow is one of the few chances remaining for Sakkari to win a title this year. The Greek has had an incredible year regardless, but I’m sure she would love to lift a trophy given how much she has improved this year. In fact, this marks the tenth year in a row that the Greek has improved her year end ranking. That is testament to the continued work she puts into her game and she deserves all the success she is beginning to enjoy as a result. In Kalinskaya she faces a talented but inconsistent opponent. The Ukrainian did well to beat Dayana Yastremska in the first round. She also came through qualifying and will be very used to these courts as a result. However, that small advantage is not enough to close the gap in quality, form and confidence between her and Sakkari. At the start of this year, I predicted Sakkari would become one of the elite players in the women’s game and a contender at every tournament. She has proven me right and should be in the mix once again here in Moscow. That starts with a win here against Kalinskaya.

Prediction: Sakkari in 2
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