A surprise semifinal line-up is set at the WTA Mutua Madrid Open. A tournament full upsets is set to come to an exciting conclusion with all four players remaining in the draw having a legitimate chance to go all the way to win the biggest title of their respective careers. First up, #8 seed Ons Jabeur takes on qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova. Later in the day, #12 seed Jessica Pegula faces Jil Teichmann. Let’s take a close look at those matchups. Who will advance to Saturday’s championship match in Madrid?
WTA Madrid Semifinal Predictions
Ons Jabeur vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
H2H: Alexandrova 6-1
Ons Jabeur is in prime position to finally capture a big title. The Tunisian is the highest ranked player remaining heading into the semifinals, the favorite to go all the way. Standing in Jabeur’s way in the semifinals is a familiar foe. Ekaterina Alexandrova holds a surprisingly dominant 6-1 head-to-head record over Jabeur. However, the majority of those wins came before Jabeur’s rise to the top of the game. We could see a different on this occasion.
Jabeur made a scratchy start to the tournament with wins over Jasmine Paolini 7-6 6-1 and Varvara Gracheva 7-5 0-6 6-4. The 27-year-old has stepped up her game in her last couple of matches against quality opponents as she recorded wins over Belinda Bencic 6-2 3-6 6-2 and Simona Halep 6-3 6-2. Jabeur’s dominant win over Halep in the quarterfinals was especially impressive when considering the Romanian’s brilliant record in Madrid and ominous form this week.
Ekaterina Alexandrova has greatly exceeded all expectations this week. The 27-year-old started the tournament in the qualifying draw where she recorded wins over Tamara Korpatsch 6-4 6-4 and Clara Burel 6-1 6-1. A 6-2 4-6 6-4 upset win over the 10th seeded Jelena Ostapenko in the first round of the main draw set the scene for a deep run. A 6-4 7-5 second round win over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz was followed by a gutsy three hour plus 6-7 6-0 7-5 win against Marie Bouzkova. Alexandrova secured her spot in the semifinals with a 6-4 6-3 triumph over Amanda Anisimova.
I’ll be siding with Ons Jabeur here, despite the negative head-to-head record and Alexandrova’s strong form this tournament. Jabeur can’t afford to lose this match; she knows it. For too long she has struggled in big matches, that has to change here. The Tunisian looked fantastic against Halep in the previous round, a similar level will be too much for Alexandrova to handle. Jabeur has the perfect mix of power and versatility to deal with Alexandrova in these conditions. Jabeur will get more opportunities, she’s playing well enough to take them. Alexandrova has already gone much further than anyone could have expected this tournament, her luck runs out here. Jabeur is a class above and should show it.
Prediction: Jabeur in 2
Jessica Pegula vs Jil Teichmann
H2H: First meeting.
I don’t think anyone saw a semifinal matchup between Jessica Pegula and Jil Teichmann coming in Madrid. A brilliant opportunity for both players to reach the final, a seemingly winnable matchup for both in what looks like a very even matchup on paper. It will be interesting to see who handles the occasion better, steps up their game and makes the most of this rare opportunity.
Pegula’s tournament almost ended in the first round; it would have if not for a Camila Giorgi implosion. Pegula saved a match point and came from 2-5 down in the deciding set to defeat Giorgi 7-5 2-6 7-5. The American hasn’t dropped a set since then, comfortably beating some quality opponents. A 6-3 6-3 second round win over Kaia Kanepi was followed by a 7-5 6-1 win over Bianca Andreescu. Pegula secured her spot in back-to-back 1000 level semifinals with a 6-4 6-2 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Jil Teichmann is the only semifinalist yet to drop a set this tournament. The 24-year-old’s solid game has been too much for her opponents to handle. A 6-3 7-5 opening round win over 3-time former champion Petra Kvitova ignited Teichmann’s run. Back-to-back upsets over seeded opponents followed, 6-4 6-4 over the 17th seeded Leylah Fernandez and 6-3 6-1 over the 16th seeded Elena Rybakina. Teichmann booked her spot in the semifinals with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Anhelina Kalinina.
This is a very tough match to predict, there isn’t much to separate the pair. It will come down to who can handle the occasion better with so much on the line. I’m going to give the slight edge to Teichmann, I think her game is more likely to stand up under pressure when things get tight in what should be a close match. Teichmann has more margin and versatility to her game, Pegula will have a riskier style to execute for victory in this matchup. Pegula’s game has gone missing on the big stage in the past, I’m not sure she has what it takes to overcome this tough challenge, we will see.
Prediction: Teichmann in 3
Main Photo from Getty.