The organizers of the 2023 WTA ASB Classic have had a very rough time with the rain this week in Auckland, and most of the event has been played indoors. That was the only way to continue the tournament and keep it on schedule. We’re now in the semifinals as Coco Gauff takes on Danka Kovinic and Ysaline Bonaventure and Rebeka Masarova face off in an all-qualifier battle. Who do you think will win?
WTA Auckland Semifinal Predictions
Ysaline Bonaventure vs Rebeka Masarova
Head-to-head: Masarova 1-0
It’s a very unexpected all-qualifier semifinal between two players who have faced each other in an ITF championship match in Hamburg in 2022. That match was won by Rebeka Masarova 6-4 6-3 and it seems like the Spaniard should be a marginal favorite again. She’s yet to drop a set in five matches and owns a perfect 5-0 tie-break record. She hasn’t grabbed a win as big as Ysaline Bonaventure managed to get in the quarterfinals, but she had great showings over the likes of Karolina Muchova or Sloane Stephens.
It’s no wonder that Bonaventure has excelled indoors this week, because her game is tailor-made for such conditions (not that it was a huge problem for Masarova, their match last year also took place under the roof). On Friday, the Belgian scored a massive win over Leylah Fernandez. This should be really tight, Bonaventure is just a lot more hit-or-miss than her opponent and it could end up hurting her (especially if they manage to play this one outdoors).
Prediction: Masarova in 3
Coco Gauff vs Danka Kovinic
Head-to-head: First meeting
Danka Kovinic wasn’t favored to win any of her three matches in Auckland so far, but it’s also not like she’s made any major noise. The highest-ranked player she’s taken out so far has been World No. 87 Lauren Davis. That was also the only match she lost a set in. The Montenegro native will play her 7th WTA Tour semifinal and currently owns a 3-3 win/loss record at this stage of Tour-level events.
Beating Coco Gauff will require something special though. While Kovinic has a pretty big game and has scored Top 10 wins in the past (three of them, to be exact), the amount of control the American has over her tennis rarely allows her to be vulnerable to upsets. In Auckland thus far, Gauff has been in business mode, not dropping more than four games a set despite facing opponents with very different playstyles. She should make the final here.
Prediction: Gauff in 2
Main Photo from Getty.