The final is set at the inaugural WTA Merida Open and it is a final that not many people would have predicted at the start of the tournament. Italy’s Camila Giorgi will square off against Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson. But who will claim the title in Merida?
WTA Merida Final Prediction
Camila Giorgi vs Rebecca Peterson
Head-to-head: Giorgi 2-1 Peterson
Giorgi will contest her first WTA final since she sensationally won the Montreal title in 2021. Rebecca Peterson, meanwhile, also ended a drought of her own, beating Caty McNally to reach her first final in four years. It is the final not many people predicted at the start of the week. Giorgi has looked in sublime form in Merida, powering through the draw without dropping a set.
The 31-year-old Italian has been so clean from the baseline that she dismissed 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens by the fairly remarkable scoreline 6-0 6-0 to progress to the semifinal. A hard-fought win over Katerina Siniakova followed to earn Giorgi passage into the championship match. She had to recover a second-set blip against the Czech doubles specialist, wasting a 5-2 lead to end up in a tiebreak, but she dominated it 7-2 to complete the win in straight sets.
Peterson, for her part, has built on her recent runner-up finish at the W60 ITF tournament in Orlando a couple of weeks ago. She scaled the qualifying rounds here and has knocked out four higher-ranked opponents, including Australian Open semifinalist Magda Linette. The Swede snatched an unlikely win in the semifinal, storming back from 0-4 down in the deciding set against McNally to win 6-2 6-7 6-4 in a match that lasted 13 minutes shy of three hours. Will she have enough gas in the tank to outlast Giorgi?
Both Giorgi and Peterson pack a punch off the forehand wing. Giorgi, in particular, is a lot more intense and risk-tolerant in managing her shots. Her aggressive brand of tennis has swept opponents off the court with embarrassing ease throughout the week. Peterson is not going to go down without a fight here. The Swede has been steadily improving on all fronts including her mentality.
While some players would have checked out being 0-4 down in the third set, she played some well-constructed points to turn the match around. Still, it will be a tall order for Peterson, having to play a red-hot Giorgi. The Italian is seemingly not missing a lot this week and if she continues to hit shots at such impeccable length, she will race to another straight-sets win.
Prediction: Giorgi in 2
Main photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports