Two huge semifinal matches are on the card at the WTA Transylvania Open on Saturday. Top seed Simona Halep faces Emma Raducanu’s conqueror Marta Kostyuk in the pick of the day’s matches. But first up, it will be Anett Kontaveit who is two wins away from qualifying for the WTA Finals, locking horns against Rebecca Peterson. Who will reach the final?
WTA Transylvania Open Semifinal Predictions
Anett Kontaveit vs Rebecca Peterson
Head-to-head: Kontaveit 2-0 Peterson
Anett Kontaveit breezed past Anhelina Kalinina to record her 13th straight indoor match win on Friday. She has also tallied 26 set wins from 27 under the roof – the only set dropped was in the Moscow final. Things are going to get tougher for the Estonian power-hitter now that there is very little margin for error. Plus, she is facing off an in-form opponent who is enjoying a streak of her own.
Peterson has extended her winning sequence to eight matches following her three-set victory over Lesia Tsurenko. Something has to give here, but it would be cruel to pick against the Estonian, particularly with the WTA Finals spot firmly within her grasp. Expect Kontaveit to squeak past an inspired opponent.
Prediction: Kontaveit in 3
Simona Halep vs Marta Kostyuk
Head-to-head: Halep 1-0 Kostyuk
Simona Halep’s comfortable victory over compatriot Jaqueline Cristian means that she is now two wins away from claiming her 23rd career title. If it happens, Halep will keep intact her title streak which dates back to 2013 – the longest such streak on the women’s tour among active players.
Kostyuk, for her part, made light work of the new US Open champion Emma Raducanu. She romped past the British No. 1 in just under an hour to reach her third semifinal of the season.
Halep and Kostyuk played each other earlier this month in Indian Wells. The Ukrainian put up a good fight in the first set but ultimately fell 7-6 6-1. This should be a lot closer. Kostyuk is playing at a frenetic pace and has developed into a multi-dimensional player during the course of this season. A punchy first serve will stretch Halep who is reportedly nursing a blocked back. Halep’s retrieval skills are unmatched, but we have seen a few glimpses of the Romanian star losing that yard of pace in recent weeks. Kostyuk can blow away an opponent off the court if given time and space to unleash her heavy groundstrokes. If she excels in picking her spots, this could turn into a stressful afternoon for the top seed.
Prediction: Kostyuk in 3
Main Photo from Getty.