There should be plenty of entertaining tennis on semifinal day at the WTA Istanbul Cup with two entertaining matches on the schedule in Turkey’s second city. As always, we here at LWOT are offering our predictions for both matches. But who will book their place in Sunday’s final?
WTA Istanbul Semifinal Predictions
Yulia Putintseva vs Anastasia Potapova
Head-to-head: Putintseva 1-0 Potapova
Yulia Putintseva looks a decent chance to go on and win a third WTA Title this week. Putintseva’s two other tiles also came on clay at 250 level events. The Kazakh started the week with a 7-6 6-4 win over Magda Linette before thrashing Rebecca Peterson 6-2 6-0. Putintseva came through her second stern test of the week in the quarterfinals as she defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 5-7 6-2 6-4. The 27-year-old looks like she is going to be very hard to beat this week.
Anastasia Potapova is on a roll, five match victories this week, including three consecutive commanding straight set wins in the main draw. A 6-1 6-4 opening round win over Nikola Bartunkova was followed by a 6-2 6-3 win against Petra Martic. Potapova produced one of her best performances in recent times when she defeated the seventh seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
Putintseva defeated Potapova 6-4 6-3 in the only previous meeting between the pair during the qualification stage at the Brisbane International in 2020. There’s a lot more on the line when they meet in Istanbul for a spot in the final, I sense there will be a similar result.
Putintseva has beaten three solid opponents this week and is locked in. Potapova has already exceeded all expectations and I doubt she can continue to defy the odds; a bad performance is overdue based on her typical form. Putintseva has more experience at the later stages of tournaments, she has won a couple of titles and been in plenty of big matches, Potapova has not. Putintseva’s versatility and defensive skills should draw errors from Potapova, expect Putintseva to be too solid here.
Prediction: Putintseva in 2
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Sorana Cirstea vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head-to-head: Cirstea 2-0
It’s been a an interesting week so far for Sorana Cirstea in her title defense at the WTA Istanbul Cup. An easy 6-4 6-1 opening round win over Kamila Rakhimova was followed by a tough 3-6 6-1 7-5 win over Arantxa Rus, with the Romanian needing forced to save a pair of match points to get the better of Rus. That was followed by a 7-5 6-1 quarterfinal win over Julia Grabher which leaves Cirstea a couple of wins away from successfully defending her title.
Veronika Kudermetova barely raised a sweat on route to the quarterfinals, a 6-2 6-0 opening round win over Marina Melnikova was followed by a walkover courtesy of Ana Bogdan. Things got much tougher in the quarterfinals where Kudermetova was forced to save four set points in the opening round and come from a break down in the second set to record a hard-fought 7-6 7-6 win over Anna Bondar.
Cristea has a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over Kudermetova. Cirstea prevailed 7-6 3-6 6-0 in the most recent meeting between the pair at the opening round stage of the US Open last year. This is a tough match to call between a pair of aggressive baseliners. Kudermetova is probably the better player on paper, but experience is on Cirstea’s side. Both are capable, it will come down to who executes on the day. I’ll side with Kudermetova who has generally been more impressive in recent times. Kudermetova is on the rise and seems poised to take another step forward this week.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 3
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