It’s fair to say no one saw what happened at Day 3 of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships happening. From #2 seed Krejcikova being straight setted to sixth seed Swiatek being upset in a final set tiebreak, fourth seed Muguruza was also sent home despite being a set up, and world #2 Sabalenka joining her. It really was a huge day for upsets and one fans will remember for a very long time. With the quarterfinals on the horizon now, however, we have a rather unexpected lineup of ladies all no doubt believing even more they can take the title home now.
WTA Dubai Day 4 Predictions
Jil Teichmann vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head-to-head: Kudermetova 2-0
Despite both women being ranked inside the top 35, it’s not a quarterfinal that anyone would have expected, given they both featured in the part of the draw of defending champion Garbine Muguruza and also Elina Svitolina. Teichmann who we know has had promise for so many years has breezed to this round. Kudermetova, beating both Azarenka and Muguruza, has been the real highlight and surprise of the draw thus far. When Kudermetova is on she’s a nightmare for anyone to play, and with already a 2-0 winning record against the Swiss woman, it’s hard to go against her here.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 2
Marketa Vondrousova vs Dayana Yastremska
Head-to-head: Yastremska 1-0
It’s fair to say before Collins unfortunately had to retire in the first round, Vondrousova was quite comfortably on the back foot and looking at a round one loss. Since that good fortune she’s made the most of it, just dropping two games in her round of 16 match, one of her better performances in 2022 thus far.
Yastremska, on the other hand, is having an absolute dream of an event. From qualifying she’s not only gone to make the quarterfinals but just beat the World #3 in straight sets. The Ukrainian is no doubt only getting more and more confident. Despite being ranked 146 in the world she is comfortably playing top 30 tennis this week. It perhaps is a matter of whether she can keep such a high level up, and after big wins many players do experience a lull, but it’s hard to go against her making the semis now.
Prediction: Yastremska in 3
Simona Halep vs Ons Jabeur
Coming into this week no one had any idea if Jabeur was fit or not. In her opening match there were signs she was fit but rusty around the edges in barely scraping past Vera Zvonareva. In her last match, though, all signs of rust had disappeared in a great easy win with a stunning performance–her best in a while–to push aside Pegula. Halep has also showed signs of her old self this week, completely dismantling and outlasting her opponents. If both play the way they did in their round of 16 matches we could be in for a long grueling affair which could go either way.
Prediction: Halep in 3
Petra Kvitova vs Jelena Ostapenko
Head-to-head: Kvitova 4-3
Yet another quarterfinal not many expected, especially not with both Sabalenka and Swiatek competing in the last round. Here we are, though, and honestly it’s great to see the two-time Wimbledon champion playing so well again in routing both Giorgi and Sabalenka both in straight sets. If Kvitova puts together more performances of this quality she’ll win this event. Whether she can is questionable, though. Before all her injury concerns you would probably say it was likely she would. But Kvitova is now 31 years old and has not won three back-to-back matches in half a year.
In fairness, Ostapenko has been fairly good this year, but one thing which is still worrying is her serve and the amount of doubles faults she is hitting, a real cause of concern here in Dubai. If she doesn’t tune it up, unlike against Swiatek where she was able to get the win having been broken seven times, anything like that against Kvitova where she won’t get too many chances to break and she’ll end up losing this.
Prediction: Kvitova in 2
Main Photo from Getty.