The WTA Stuttgart Open continues to deliver with a gripping set of semifinal matchups. Defending champion Iga Swiatek faces in-form Tunisian Ons Jabeur who is on a seven-match winning streak. While the other semifinal pits second seed Aryna Sabalenka against Russia’s rising star Anastasia Potapova. Who do you think will advance into Sunday’s final?
WTA Stuttgart Semifinal Predictions
Aryna Sabalenka vs Anastasia Potapova
Head-to-head: first meeting
Aryna Sabalenka’s come-from-behind win over Paula Badosa duly delivered from a spectacle standpoint. Badosa was in cruise control, leading by a set and break. But the Belorussian is a pillar of consistency this year and never ceased to believe she would turn the match around. It took two and a half hours, but Sabalenka came through 4-6 6-4 6-4 in an instant classic.
Anastasia Potapova, for her part, harnessed her power to secure her own comeback win against Caroline Garcia. The World #24 had not reached a WTA 500 semifinal before, but she’s changed that with her second Top 10 win in a row. However, Potapova is unlikely to get away with handing nearly double-digit break points. Therefore, a third top-10 win in succession is a tall order, and more so when the opponent on the other side of the court is Sabalenka who is 20-3 for the season.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
Iga Swiatek vs Ons Jabeur
Head-to-head: Swiatek 3-2 Jabeur
Iga Swiatek played in her first three-set match of the year and defeated Karolina Pliskova 4-6 6-1 6-2. Swiatek was slow off the blocks, falling to 0-4 down in the first set. But she quickly moved through the gears and her return game was off the charts. She tore Pliskova’s serve to shreds in the second and third sets. Her title defense will face the first acid test in the semis when she takes on in-form Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian trailblazer dominated Beatriz Haddad Maia with her technical expertise from the baseline dropping just three games in their quarterfinal.
For Jabeur, having so many shots up her sleeve, the biggest problem can be deciding which shot to use. But as she put it herself in her post-match interview, she is able to make the right choices when she is relaxed on the court. Obviously, Swiatek isn’t going to give her the luxury and comfort of playing her well-disguised drop shots with so much freedom. On her current win streak, Jabeur looks good value to at least take a set here, but expect Swiatek to come through a potential humdinger.
Prediction: Swiatek in 3