Day 5 at the 2022 WTA Birmingham Classic will see the four singles quarterfinal matches contested on Friday. Four of the eight seeded players are still standing at the WTA 250 grass court tournament. Camila Giorgi will face the winner of the match between Beatriz Haddad Maia or Magdalena Frech in the quarterfinals. The second round encounter was suspended due to darkness with Frech leading 4-2 in the final set on Thursday.
WTA Birmingham Classic Quarterfinal Predictions
Dayana Yastremska vs Zhang Shuai
Head-to-head: Zhang 2-1 Yastremska
Dayana Yastremska twice came from a break down in the third set to earn a battling 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over top seed Jelena Ostapenko in the second round. The World No. 79 also downed Magda Linette in straight sets in the first round. She was the only player to take a set from eventual Hertogenbosch winner Ekaterina Alexandrova last week.
Zhang Shuai edged both Jana Fett and Gabriela Ruse in three sets in her first two matches this week. The World No. 54 reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2019 and was a runner-up in Nottingham last year. The 33-year-old Chinese also reached the last eight in Nottingham last week, losing to Tereza Martincova.
Zhang defeated Yastremska in the last 16 of Wimbledon in 2019 and in the final of Lyon earlier this year – both times in three sets. This could be another close battle between two big-hitters capable of doing damage on grass. Yastremska has been more impressive in Birmingham and her ultra-aggressive style makes her difficult to stop when firing – particularly on quicker surfaces.
Prediction: Yastremska in 3
Donna Vekic vs Sorana Cirstea
Head-to-head: Vekic 2-0 Cirstea (2-2 including ITF and qualifying matches)
Donna Vekic has advanced to the quarterfinals with straight-set wins over fellow qualifiers Coco Vandeweghe and Caty McNally. The World No. 92 overcame Katie Swan and Gabriela Lee without losing a set in the qualifying draw. The 25-year-old Croatian has enjoyed playing at British grass court events, having previously won and finished as a runner-up at the Nottingham Open and also reached the final at this tournament in 2013.
Sorana Cirstea defeated Shelby Rogers in three sets in the opening round, before crushing lucky loser Aleksandra Krunic for the loss of two games in the second round. The World No. 36 had not previously had a great deal of success on grass, having not reached a final on the surface. The 32-year-old Romanian has, though, reached the third round at Wimbledon four times – including last year – despite it being her least successful Grand Slam event.
Both players have impressed this week, but Vekic’s stronger serve and aggressive game should give her the edge.
Prediction: Vekic in 3
Beatriz Haddad Maia vs Camila Giorgi
Head-to-head: First meeting
Beatriz Haddad Maia extended her winning streak on grass to seven matches by beating Magdalena Frech in three sets in the second round. The World No. 32 recovered from 2-4 behind in the third set when the match resumed, and survived Frech serving for the match at 6-5, before winning a deciding tiebreak. The 26-year-old Brazilian, who impressively downed Petra Kvitova in the first round, took the title in Nottingham last week.
Camila Giorgi has beaten Tereza Martincova in straight sets and Lauren Davis in three sets to reach the last eight this week. The World No. 26 was beaten by Harriet Dart in the second round in Nottingham.
This could be a close match between two players with weapons and approaches suited to grass. Giorgi’s baseline power, as well as Haddad Maia likely being somewhat fatigued by her recent run, should give the Italian a slight edge.
Prediction: Giorgi in 3
Katie Boulter vs Simona Halep
Head-to-head: First meeting
Katie Boulter has scored impressive straight-set victories over Alison Riske and Caroline Garcia to advance to the last eight. Riske reached the final in Nottingham last week and is a former Rosmalen Open winner, while Garcia is a two-time grass court titlist. The World No. 141 has twice reached the Nottingham quarterfinals, while she fell in the second round there last week to Ajla Tomljanovic after qualifying.
Simona Halep is currently on a nine-match winning streak on grass, stretching back to 2019 when she won the Wimbledon title for the loss of a single set. The World No. 20 comfortably saw off Lesia Tsurenko and Harriet Dart in the first two rounds – dropping just five games in each match.
Boulter could provide a tougher test given her form so far, but Halep will likely prove a bit too strong in the pair’s first encounter.
Prediction: Halep in 2
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