WTA Charleston Semifinal Predictions Including Danielle Collins vs Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari in action ahead of the Australian Open.

It has been a terrific tournament so far at the WTA Charleston Open. Two blockbuster encounters await in the semifinal. WTA Finals runner-up Jessica Pegula faces the gritty former Charleston champion Daria Kasatkina, while Danielle Collins is hoping for a remarkable 12th consecutive victory against last year’s Guadalajara champion Maria Sakkari. As always, we at LWOT provide our predictions and analysis for both semifinals. But which two players do you think will progress to the final?

WTA Charleston Semifinal Predictions

Jessica Pegula vs Daria Kasatkina

Head-to-head: Pegula 2-0 Kasatkina

Pegula’s path to this stage has been the most thrilling of the players left in the draw. She defeated Amanda Anisimova and Victoria Azarenka in final-set tiebreaks, saving four match points against Azarenka. Pegula’s only comfortable win was against last year’s Australian Open semifinalist Magda Linette. Kasatkina beat Ashlyn Krueger, Anhelina Kalinina, and Jaqueline Cristian to reach the semifinal.

Pegula could be dreading this matchup if she is feeling fatigued after her efforts so far. Kasatkina is one of the best movers and fittest players in the women’s game and will make the American No. 2 work hard for the points she wins. That means Pegula’s ball-striking needs to be very good in this contest, but she is still likely to find that consistently enough to overcome Kasatkina. Pegula showed against Magda Linette that she is most comfortable playing against players who give her time on her shots, while Anisimova and Azarenka caused her problems with the pace of their groundstrokes.

Kasatkina is a terrific competitor, but her shots are likely to sit up for Pegula on the clay courts of the WTA Charleston Open. Expect the world No. 5 to be ruthless enough to take advantage.

Prediction: Pegula in 2

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Danielle Collins vs Maria Sakkari

Head-to-head: Sakkari 2-1 Collins

Collins’ extraordinary run just keeps going and going. She has added wins against Paula Badosa, Ons Jabeur, Sloane Stephens, and Elise Mertens to her seven victories to claim glory in Miami. The No. 3 seed Sakkari defeated Viktoriya Tomova, Astra Sharma, and Veronika Kudermetova without dropping a set to reach this stage.

Is Sakkari the player who will finally stop Collins? I think she has a better chance than any of the players Collins has beaten during her amazing run. She has been in terrific form herself since hiring David Witt as her coach. Sakkari needs to do two things particularly well in order to have a chance. Firstly, make a lot of first serves, due to how devastating Collins has been with her return lately. Secondly, Sakkari needs to find a way to dictate points with her forehand, since that is an element of this matchup where she has an advantage. Collins’ backhand in the last few weeks has been the best in the game, making it more important for Sakkari not to hit there regularly.

Clay is the surface that Sakkari is most likely to beat Collins on. It will take a huge effort, and she’ll have to soak up a lot of pressure. But I think the Greek is capable of being the one who finally stops Collins, with her improved mentality and tennis IQ under Witt getting her over the line.

Prediction: Sakkari in 3

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane – USA TODAY Sports


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