After a thrilling week of tennis so far at the WTA Houston Challenger, just four women remain in contention for the title in Texas. But who will book their place in Sunday’s showpiece final?
WTA Houston Challenger Semifinal Predictions
Stefanie Voegele vs Coco Vandeweghe
Head-to-head: first meeting
Having enjoyed a career-best season in 2017, reaching Grand Slam semifinals at Melbourne Park and the US Open, Coco Vandeweghe has endured considerable frustration since, largely due to injury. But the former-world #9 has been back to something approaching her best at the WTA Houston Challenger, storming into the semifinals without dropping a set. Her 6-1 6-4 victory over 10th seed Mandy Minella in the last eight was perhaps her most impressive of the week.
Seventh seed Stefanie Voegele, meanwhile, remains at her best on the clay. But she has been playing well so far in Houston. She started her week with a battling 6-4 3-6 6-4 win over Fanny Stollar, before dismissing 11th seed Usue Maitane Arconada and young gun Katarina Zavatska, the fourth seed. And as well as Vandeweghe has played so far in Houston, she has not faced an opponent of Voegele’s quality. This should be close, but expect the Swiss to edge it.
Prediction: Voegele in 3
Embed from Getty Images
Kirsten Flipkens vs Irina Falconi
Head-to-head: Flipkens 1-1 Falconi
2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens may no longer be at the peak of her powers, but she has shown that she retains much of the guile and court-craft that once took her as high as 13th in the WTA rankings. The Belgian, seeded third at the WTA Houston Challenger, has had to work hard for her place in the semifinals. She started her week, after a first-round bye, with a 3-6 6-3 7-6 win over Hailey Baptiste, backing that up by beating Cici Bellis 6-4 6-4. She then finished strongly to oust sixth seed Caty McNally 7-5 4-6 6-2.
Irina Falconi is another player in the Houston field on the comeback trail. She has played some fine tennis so far this week and in the quarterfinals scored a rampant win over second seed Taylor Townsend, who beat Wimbledon champion Simona Halep en route to the fourth round at the US Open in September. She should be ready to face the net-rushing Flipkens after that match, but the Belgian’s touch is that much better than Townsend’s and could well prove the difference here.
Prediction: Flipkens in 3
Embed from Getty Images