WTA Toronto Semifinal Predictions Including Jessica Pegula vs Simona Halep

Beatriz Haddad Maia in action at the WTA Toronto 1000.
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Two entertaining semifinal matches are set on Saturday at the WTA Toronto 1000, Canada. The seventh seeded Jessica Pegula faces two-time former champion Simona Halep in the first match of the day, whilst the fourteenth seeded Karolina Pliskova faces the red-hot Beatriz Haddad Maia in the evening. But who will advance to Sunday’s final?

WTA Toronto Semifinal Predictions

Jessica Pegula vs Simona Halep

Head-to-head: first meeting

Pegula and Halep will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet in Saturday’s first semifinal in Toronto. Pegula is the highest seed left in the draw, but Halep is the favourite to win the title from here. It’s back-to-back National Bank Open semifinals for Pegula who will be keen to go a couple of steps further than she went in Montreal last year.

The American started the week with a bye before defeating Asia Muhammad 6-2 7-5. Pegula eliminated last year’s champion at the round of 16 stage, defeating Camila Giorgi 3-6 6-0 7-5. A spot in the semifinals was secured thanks to a commanding 6-3 6-3 win over Yulia Putintseva.

Simona Halep has been dominant this week. The Romanian is seeking her third National Bank Open title having won the tournament in 2016 and 2018, both of those were in Montreal however. Halep is yet to drop a set this week, but has been tested in her last couple of matches. A 6-2 7-5 win over Jil Teichmann in the round of 16 was followed by a 6-4 7-6 quarterfinal win over Cori Gauff in what was her toughest test of the tournament thus far.

I’m liking Halep in this matchup. Pegula is solid, but her level is unspectacular, she has mostly made the most of a favourable draw and hasn’t been in the greatest form prior to this week. I don’t think Pegula will be able to outhit Halep from the baseline, and I don’t think she has the patience or stamina to outlast the Romanian from the baseline either. This spells trouble for the American, the type of matchup that Halep thrives in.

Prediction: Halep in 2
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Karolina Pliskova vs Beatriz Haddad Maia

Head-to-head: Pliskova 1-1 Haddad Maia

Pliskova and Haddad Maia would both fancy their chances when they do battle in Saturday’s second semifinal in Toronto. It will be interesting to see who steps up and makes the most of this great opportunity to reach a final at this level.

Pliskova’s season hasn’t gone to plan. A run to the semifinals in Toronto via a tough draw is most welcome for the Czech. Pliskova started the week with a 6-3 6-4 win over Barbora Krejcikova before defeating Amanda Anisimova 6-1 6-1. Pliskova survived a titanic struggle with the third seeded Maria Sakkari in the round of 16, a 7-1 6-7 6-3 win before outlasting Qinwen Zheng 4-6 6-4 6-4 to

Haddad Maia, meanwhile, continues to defy the odds in Toronto. The Brazilian is breaking new grounds with each win, she is the first woman from her country to reach the semifinals of a WTA 1000 level event and is projected to reach a career high ranking inside the top 20 after this week no matter what happens from here. Haddad Maia booked her spot in the semifinals with a gutsy 2-6 6-3 6-3 win over Belinda Bencic. The 26-year-old caused the biggest upset of the tournament in the round of 16 when she defeated world #1 Iga Swiatek 6-4 3-6 7-5.

It’s been a fantastic week for Haddad Maia, who also eliminated the thirteenth seeded Leylah Fernandez in the second round with a 7-6 6-1 triumph. Haddad Maia defeated Pliskova 6-3 7-5 in their most recent clash at Indian Wells last year and should be considered the favourite heading into this match based on her far superior form. I’ll side with Haddad Maia, she is simply on a roll right now and should have the edge against Pliskova from the baseline is the slower night conditions.

Prediction: Haddad Maia in 2

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