The quarterfinal lineup at WTA Linz sees the top five seeds all make the final eight, with a few surprises joining them, such as Great Britain’s Jodie Burrage, who is ranked outside the world’s top 100. We at LWOT have the preview and prediction of all four quarterfinal matches. Who do you think will advance to the semifinals?
WTA Linz Quarter-Final Predictions
Elise Mertens vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Head-to-head: Pavlyuchenkova 2-1
When the two met on the clay courts of Roland Garros last year, it was the Russian who had the last laugh, edging it in a close encounter and final set. Pavlyuchenkova’s game, whilst good on clay with given time on her groundstrokes, relies on power off of both wings. In her first two rounds, she secured two solid wins over top 60 players in Trevisan and Boulter, both without dropping her serve. That was impressive, and if she keeps up that form, it’s hard to see Mertens’ game prevailing.
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 2
Clara Burel vs Donna Vekic
Head-to-head: First Meeting
It’s insane to think that despite being ranked in the world’s top 35, Donna Vekic has just two wins in regular tour events in the past five months. It’s been a real struggle with injuries throughout that period, but in her opening match at WTA Linz, she totally dismantled Australian Open semi-finalist Yastremska 6-1 6-1. This was a huge confidence booster despite the Ukrainian being well below par. Burel has backed up her shock victory against top-five player Pegula at the Australian Open with a solid win against Siniakova in the last round, but Vekic, in any sort of good form, won’t lose this one.
Prediction: Vekic in 2
Anastasia Potopova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
Head-to-head: Potopova 1-0
On paper, this is arguably the hardest quarterfinal to predict. Their head-to-head isn’t much to go off either, with their only previous encounter being one in which Alexandrova was unable to complete the match. After both losing disappointingly in the first round of the Australian Open, however, it’s good to see both women improve their fortunes so far this week. Purely due to Potopova holding the defending champion crown in Linz, I think the younger of the two Russians will use that to her aid and make the final four in her title defense.
Prediction: Potopova in 3
Jelena Ostapenko vs Jodie Burrage
Head-to-head: First Meeting
Top seed Ostapenko struggled massively in her opening match against upcoming youngster Clara Tauson. Not only did she find herself a set and break down, she also found herself a further break down in the final set two separate times before having to save match point on the Dane’s serve before prevailing 9-7 in a final set tiebreak. She won’t get much rest before her quarterfinal, but thankfully on paper, it shouldn’t be anywhere near as threatening. Burrage can be solid, but there’s a reason the 24-year-old is ranked outside the world’s top 100. As long as Ostapenko can avoid costly errors, which can be a huge ask given her game style, it’s hard to see anything special happening here.
Prediction: Ostapenko in 2
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports