Down to the last four in Jurmala now and no doubt the home crowd will be getting excited about the prospect of a local winner. Anastasija Sevastova and Anastasia Potapova face-off in the semi-finals.
WTA Jurmala Semifinal Predictions
Anastasija Sevastova vs Anastasia Potapova
Head-to-Head Record: 0-1
The battle of the Anastasias and none of the fans will want to be left outside alone for this one.
After looking under pressure for most of the first set against Irina Bara in the quarter-final Anastasija Sevastova managed to close out the set in a tie-break. This seemed to take all the pressure off and she raced into a 4-0 lead in Set 2 and finished the job off comfortably.
Potapova played a typically Potapova match. The first set was a battle royale, seven out of ten games going to deuce and then spurning two set points before finally securing it. But for some reason, she completely switched off and succumbed in the second set losing it 6-0. The fact that she went on to win is a testament to her talent and mentality when it comes to the crunch.
This would have been the opponent that Sevastova would probably have wanted to avoid in her half of the draw. They played on clay last year and Potapova dominated the first and third sets to win.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this match go to a third set and then it will be a case of who can hold their nerve best in the final throes.
Sevastova will have strong home support but Potapova is on a real roll right now. This may be enough to get her to the winning line. If she crosses it then the whole of Jurmala will be disappointed, but the young Russian will be delighted.
Prediction: Potapova in 3
Katarzyna Kawa vs Bernarda Pera
Head-to-Head Record: 0-1
Kawa completely overwhelmed Chloe Paquet in her quarter-final, dropping only four games. Conserving that energy for today’s semi-final may be enough to give her a fighting chance.
Pera played the last quarter-final of the day on Friday and needed every ounce of her experience to beat Nina Stojanovic from a set down. Stojanovic threatened the Pera serve more than most players this week but couldn’t convert enough of her chances.
The previous match played between these players doesn’t count for much as it was way back in 2012 on the ITF. Both players came into this week off semi-final appearances in their most recent tournaments and within those runs lies a very interesting form line.
Kawa destroyed Fiona Ferro in her quarter-final in Bastad 6-0 6-2, and the very next week Ferro beat Bernarda Pera in the semi-final 6-1, 6-4. Obviously, these are different courts with different conditions but it creates the impression that Kawa should have a very good chance of at least being competitive in this match, despite being ranked over 100 places lower than her opponent.
If Kawa does make it close then the next question will be if she can conquer the nerves that she is likely to feel. She has played most of her career on the ITF circuit, she is now 26, so she may have thought that her time to win a WTA tournament had passed.
Prediction: Kawa in 3