It’s semifinal day at the WTA Adelaide International, with two matches of genuine promise and entertainment on the schedule. Russia’s Daria Kasatkina will look to become the first player to defeat Paula Badosa in 2023 whilst the other semifinal will pit Belinda Bencic against Veronika Kudermetova for the 10th time in their careers. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for both matches, but who will reach the final?
WTA Adelaide Semifinal Predictions
Daria Kasatkina vs Paula Badosa
Head-to-head: Kasatkina 2-1 Badosa
Kasatkina has enjoyed a swift turnaround in her fortunes. She lost to 18-year-old Linda Noskova in the first round at the first WTA Adelaide International just a week ago, but has eased into the semifinals this week with a pair of excellent wins. The Russian has knocked out Barbora Krejcikova and Petra Kvitova, both in straight sets. The Spaniard Badosa, meanwhile, has gone unbeaten since the turn of the year. Not many people saw this run coming after she was struggling with cramps at the United Cup.
But sipping that pickle juice in her match against Harriet Dart has done wonders for her energy levels. The Spaniard has seen off the challenges of a trio of big hitters in Anett Kontaveit, Kaia Kanepi, and Beatriz Haddad Maia. What Badosa has done so well this week is she has gone blow-to-blow against her opponents, matching their power whilst outsmarting them with her movement. It doesn’t hurt either that she has been rock solid from the baseline. Kasatkina will need to mix it up again, in the same manner that she lured Kvitova into spraying errors uncontrollably. But Badosa’s disciplined approach should just tilt the match in her favour.
Prediction: Badosa in 3
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Belinda Bencic vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head-to-head: Bencic 5-4 Kudermetova
Bencic and Kudermetova have played each other nine times in their careers, including three matches in 2022, and they are now set for a tenth meeting at the WTA Adelaide International. The Swiss leads the head-to-head by the narrowest of margins, having defeated Kudermetova on the grass in Berlin six months ago, but there has been next to nothing between them so far. Even the surface has not made much of a difference, although Bencic does have a narrow 3-2 lead on hard courts.
The big-serving Russian survived her quarterfinal match against Danielle Collins by the skin of her teeth, saving an astonishing five match points in the second set on her way to a 4-6 7-6 6-1 win. It is the second time this week that she has managed that sort of comeback win after also rallying past Victoria Azarenka from a set down in the first round. But another slow start against an in-form Bencic could prove costly. This should be another close match in the offing, but Bencic’s hyper-aggressive and accurate return (which worked a treat against Garcia) should give her the edge again.
Prediction: Bencic in 3
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