Four women remain at the 2023 WTA Adelaide International, and the first WTA 250 is up for grabs. Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur looks odds-on favorite to go all the way, but will have to contend with the surprise package this week in Linda Noskova. Elsewhere, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka will be looking to reach her second WTA final in succession after her finalist showing at the seasoning-ending WTA Finals in Fort Worth. Who will reach the final on Sunday?
WTA Adelaide Semifinal Predictions
Aryna Sabalenka vs Irina-Camelia Begu
Head-to-head: Begu 1-0 Sabalenka
As physically imposing as Sabalenka is, the scariest part of her game right now is her confidence. Sabalenka’s serve malfunctioned so badly last year that she basically lacked the belief to win tennis matches in the first half of the season. But she looks like she has got her mojo back and her resurgence is taking shape in Adelaide. Begu has accounted for two seeds tumbling in Jelena Ostapenko and Veronika Kudermetova. But whether her solid defensive approach will have enough bite to absorb Sabalenka’s ferocious power is a totally different matter. Provided the second seed does not stumble on her serve, she should be able to break out of the gates early.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 3
Ons Jabeur vs Linda Noskova
Head-to-head: first meeting
Jabeur was slow off the blocks in her quarterfinal match. She trailed Marta Kostyuk 1-4 in the opening set and her game appeared to fall into pieces. But the Tunisian hauled herself off the canvas and regrouped to turn the match around. If anything, Jabeur’s in-game tactics paid off big time. She put on a clinic behind her first shot on the return. The Tunisian set up new traps, playing short slices and rushing Kostyuk to the net before passing her. And if the Ukrainian made contact with the ball it would result in an error.
That is the kind of challenge that awaits Linda Noskova. But if Noskova was looking for a statement victory to hang her hat on, then she duly delivered on Friday, beating Victoria Azarenka from match point down. The young Czech has exceeded expectations to get to this stage and Jabeur won’t be taking her lightly. Nonetheless, I still feel Jabeur will have a plethora of shots to keep Noskova at bay.
Prediction: Jabeur in 3
Main Photo from Getty.