On the WTA Tour, anything can happen. We’ve reached the semifinal stage of the WTA 1000 in Dubai, however, and things haven’t went entirely unpredictably with the #1, #3, #6 and former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in contention. Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff square off in a rematch of last year’s French Open final whilst Krejcikova has a chance to get revenge over Jessica Pegula after losing to her at this year’s Australian Open. We’ve tried to predict the outcomes of these two exciting semifinals.
WTA Dubai Semifinal Predictions
Jessica Pegula vs Barbora Krejcikova
Head-to-head: Pegula 1-0 Krejcikova
“I love playing tennis matches.”
Barbora Krejcikova was feeling very positive after her comeback win against reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka. From 6-0 3-1 down, she held her nerve to take the second set tiebreak and lost only one game from thereon in. In her second-round, she defeated Daria Kasatkina after facing five match points. Krejcikova loves playing tennis matches because she loves pressure (somehow it’s not surprising to hear Krejcikova has won all three matches throughout her career where she’s dropped the first set 6-0).
Jessica Pegula is fairly impervious to nerves herself, but the slower balls won’t allow her to run through the Czech. We’re expecting the level from both players to be fairly close to top 10 and if both players are close to their best, who takes it? Krejcikova isn’t all talk–her record is 8-1 in WTA semifinals. We’re backing the former French Open champion to step up her game once more.
Prediction: Krejcikova in 3
Iga Swiatek vs Coco Gauff
Head-to-head: Swiatek 5-1 Gauff
Coco Gauff’s rivalry with Iga Swiatek has been brutal. She’s lost their five matches so far, hasn’t won a set in their last four meetings and has won only 14 games in those four matches. It hasn’t mattered the surface, it hasn’t mattered the court speed–there is a match-up issue at hand here.
From the baseline, Gauff doesn’t take on the forehand as readily as others, frequently relying on her backhand to find a way through her opponent. The problem with this is her backhand is more inherently defensive–it’s harder for her to open up the angles of the court but, against lesser players, her movement and clean strikes give her tons of options to break them down on this wing and find that easy winning shot.
Swiatek won’t afford her the same luxury. One sniff of that heavy forehand and the rally turns in the Pole’s favour. She’s happy to construct the point for days and go toe-to-toe with Gauff’s comfortably weaker wing. To boot, Swiatek has also been on an absolute roll recently and Gauff’s serve will likely be neutralised by the world #1’s returns. We can only see this going one way.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports