We arrive in the quarterfinals of the 2019 TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup with just one seed left in the tournament. Who will prevail on Friday and make their way to the semis?
WTA Istanbul Quarterfinal Predictions
Barbora Strycova vs Elena Rybakina
Head to head: First meeting
A little bit of an enigmatic matchup–no previous meetings and it’s the first clay court tournament for both this year. Rybakina qualified for the tournament in the strangest way possible, with both her opponents retiring in the second set. However, she then played two good matches against Katerina Siniakova and especially versus Pauline Parmentier, giving the Frenchwoman just four games. Given the fact that she’s already won 25K ITF titles this year and has to be enjoying her tennis career at the moment, we’re going to pick her over Strycova, who has been pretty unspectacular lately.
Prediction: Rybakina in 3
Veronika Kudermetova vs Margarita Gasparyan
Head to head: Gasparyan 3-0
Gasparyan had actually never won a main draw WTA tour match on clay prior to this week (although to be fair she’s still very young and had some big injury breaks), but proved her game is way better that one might think according to this stat. She defeated Johanna Larsson and Mihaela Buzarnescu, both in very long, tough battles. The head-to-head between her and Kudermetova includes two ITF tournaments back in 2014 and a complete trashing she gave her this year in St. Petersburg qualifying (she won 6-1 6-0). The mental edge might be important here, as Kudermetova has to remember that loss very vividly. Her improvement over the last few months has also been very rapid, but we’re quite convinced with the ability to fight through which Gasparyan showcased during the week thus far.
Prediction: Gasparyan in 3
Petra Martic vs Kristina Mladenovic
Head to head: 1-1
We were quite right about Martic having a close match against Bogdan, but we were completely off in predicting that Mladenovic might lose to Kateryna Kozlova. The Frenchwoman won 6-1 6-2 in a really brilliant performance. Meanwhile, Martic showed great clay-court prowess three weeks ago in Charleston, where she reached the semifinals by defeating the likes of Amanda Anisimova and Belinda Bencic. She uses tons of topspin on the ball and is very well prepared athletically to playing the red stuff. She hasn’t been doing that well during the week, losing a set to both Tamara Zidansek and Ana Bogdan. However, the point of this prediction is do we trust Kiki Mladenovic enough to say she’ll repeat her good performance. History says no, and we’ll agree.
Prediction: Martic in 3
Marketa Vondrousova vs Lara Arruabarrena
Head to head: Vondrousova 1-0
There’s arguably no one hotter than the left-handed Czech on the tour right now. Vondrousova won 16 out of her last 19 matches, including a final in Budapest and back-to-back quarterfinal performances at the Sunshine Double. She’s also doing very well here, coming through a tough draw, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ajla Tomljanovic. So, are there any positive signs for Arruabarrena? Sure, she’s shown over the past few years that her grinding baseline tennis works great on clay (reached the final in Bogota three times, won it back in 2012) and is once again doing very well on her favorite surface, defeating the top seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the first round. However, Vondrousova won their previous clay court meeting (Gstaad last year) and with the kind of form she’s in now, it’s pretty much impossible not to pick her.
Prediction: Vondrousova in 2
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