WTA Dubai Semifinal Predictions including Jelena Ostapenko vs Simona Halep

WTA Dubai semifinalist Simona Halep in action.
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No seeded players are now left in the draw at WTA Dubai Championships. However, the two semifinals are really intriguing. Two Grand Slam champions in one of them and a couple of improving young players in the other. But who will meet in the final?

WTA Dubai Semifinal Predictions

Veronika Kudermetova vs Marketa Vondrousova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Veronika Kudermetova has had a wondrous run through the semifinals. She has seen off Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka before coming out on top in a battle against Jil Teichmann in the quarterfinals. The fact that the Russian was able to back up those excellent wins with a tough victory like that speaks volumes for her character.

Marketa Vondrousova feels like she has been around for a long time, but she is actually the junior player here by two years. The Czech is still only 22. Her run to the Roland Garros final and subsequent injury issues have perhaps dented her progress, but after benefitting somewhat from Danielle Collins’ retirement in the opening round she hasn’t lost a set. Her return has been excellent when getting past Varvara Gracheva and Dayana Yastremska. It hasn’t been the toughest route so far, but she has beaten her opponents well.

This has all the hallmarks of a tight encounter. It is a first meeting between the two so it is likely to be cagey, at least in the early stages. Kudermetova is quite serve oriented, especially on hard courts. She may struggle to break Vondrousova enough to get the job done here. Ultimately, the Czech’s superior all-round game should give her enough to reach the final.

Prediction: Vondrousova in 3
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Jelena Ostapenko vs Simona Halep

Head-to-head: Ostapenko 1-1 Halep

Who could forget their first meeting in the Roland Garros final of 2017? Jelena Ostapenko turned that one around from a seemingly impossible position to win her first, and so far only, Grand Slam title. Simona Halep had her revenge in the semifinals in Beijing later that year on a hard court, winning in straight sets, and they haven’t played since. That adds an extra layer of intrigue to a semifinal between two players who appear to be determined to get back up to the top of the game this season and are both in great form.

Ostapenko is looking supremely confident and said as much in press recently.

The only players to defeat Ostapenko in the last few weeks have been Barbora Krejcikova at the Australian Open and Anett Kontaveit in the semifinals of St. Petersburg last week. Seeing off Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek, and Petra Kvitova so far will have given the Latvian even more confidence heading into this clash.┬áHalep, though, looks in great touch. The Romanian is yet to drop a set this week but it is fair to say that the calibre of her opponents haven’t been of the same level of Ostapenko’s. Alison Riske, Elena-Gabriela Ruse, and Ons Jabeur were the victims and the stats have been impressive. 80% of Halep’s service games have been won, and she has broken 50% of her opponents’ games.

It is unlikely that Halep will be able to replicate those numbers against the in-form Ostapenko. This match looks like it may well go the distance and there is the chance of an upset. Ostapenko has been playing in battles all through this tournament and that could give her the sharper edge. Halep is, and always has been, vulnerable to a player who is willing to go for their shots and has the power to through her. That just about sums up Ostapenko’s approach.

Prediction: Ostapenko in 3

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