WTA Adelaide International Quarterfinal Predictions Including Simona Halep vs Aryna Sabalenka

Danielle Collins Adelaide International

Just eight women remain in contention for the Premier-level Adelaide International, after what has been a superb week of tennis so far in South Australia. All eight players will surely be desperate to keep their momentum going ahead of the first Major of the year at Melbourne Park. But who will book their place in the last four?

Adelaide International Quarterfinal Predictions

Dayana Yastremska vs Donna Vekic

Head-to-head: Yastremska 2-0 Vekic

Both Dayana Yastremska and Donna Vekic enjoyed excellent 2019 seasons. The Ukrainian Yastremska won two WTA titles and reached the fourth round at the All England Club, whilst Vekic reached the quarterfinals at the US Open as well as finishing as runner-up in St Petersburg and Nottingham. Both will now surely be targeting an extended run in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open. But it may be Yastremska who approaches this match with more confidence.

She made a fine start to her Adelaide International campaign, overpowering Timea Babos, before advancing to the last eight courtesy of Angelique Kerber’s second-set retirement. She had looked comfortable in that match, but how much of that control was due to Kerber’s injury is an unknown. Vekic, meanwhile, has found her progress rather less smooth, but she has played well nonetheless. In her opener, she overcame a 0-5 head-to-head deficit to beat Anastasija Sevastova in three, before finishing strongly to oust Maria Sakkari 2-6 7-5 6-1.

However, she has lost both of her previous meetings with Yastremska. The first, in 2017, came via retirement, but last year she was beaten 6-7 3-6 in Zhuhai by the teenager. And one rather suspects that this match will be on Yastremska’s racquet. The flat trajectory of her groundstrokes, particularly off the forehand, can be difficult to control, but when she is on song, makes her very difficult to defend against. And she has looked on song so far this week. Expect her to just edge out Vekic.

Prediction: Yastremska in 3
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Simona Halep vs Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: Halep 2-0 Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka disappointed through much of 2019, but the Belarusian began to find some form towards the end of the season and she has continued that tentative progress in Adelaide, picking up wins over the tricky Hsieh Su-wei and qualifier Bernarda Pera. However, she looks certain to be in for a stern test against second seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep. The Romanian received a first-round bye, before starting her campaign with a solid 7-5 6-4 win over Ajla Tomljanovic.

She has also had the better of her rivalry with Sabalenka. Both of their previous meetings came in 2018, in Shenzhen and Cincinnati, and Halep won convincingly on both occasions. Sabalenka, at her best, can summon formidable power from the back of the court. But there are few, if any, who cover the court better than Halep. She also excels at taking the ball early, particularly on the forehand side, to deny her opponent’s time and that has caused Sabalenka real problems in the past. Expect it to do once again in Adelaide.

Prediction: Halep in 2
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Ashleigh Barty vs Marketa Vondrousova

Head-to-head: Barty 3-0 Vondrousova

Ashleigh Barty may well be approaching her Adelaide International quarterfinal with confidence. She has beaten her opponent, Marketa Vondrousova, in all three of their previous matches, including in the French Open final, where she dropped just four games. That said, she has not made the most convincing of starts to her 2020 campaign. After losing in her opener in Brisbane, she was made to work hard for her first win of the season against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Vondrousova, meanwhile, has looked superb so far in Adelaide. After missing the second-half of the 2019 season with a wrist injury, she has been making up for lost time in South Australia. In her first-round match, the eighth seed demolished Germany’s Tatjana Maria for the loss of just three games. And she backed that up by hammering qualifier Arina Rodionova, who had upset former-US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round, 6-0 6-0.

Thus, whilst she has not yet taken a set off Barty in three meetings, she may feel that she has a good chance to beat the Australian, although Barty will mark a real step up in the quality of opposition. Vondrousova’s return game has been particularly impressive so far in Adelaide, with the Czech having broken serve 13 times in two matches. If she can maintain that level against Barty, the world #1 could find herself in trouble. Especially as her serve has looked vulnerable so far in 2020.

Prediction: Vondrousova in 3
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Belinda Bencic vs Danielle Collins

Head-to-head: first meetings

Former-NCAA champion Danielle Collins clearly enjoys the conditions in Australia. Last season, the American stormed into the semifinals at Melbourne Park and she once again looks to be at home ‘Down Under’. She impressed in reaching the quarterfinals last time out in Brisbane, although she will surely have been disappointed by the manner of her defeat there at the hands of Madison Keys. However, she has bounced back at the Adelaide International, picking up comprehensive wins over Aliaksandra Sasnovich and seventh seed Sofia Kenin.

But she will surely need to be at her best up against world #7 Belinda Bencic. The Swiss has not yet dropped a set in Adelaide, although she did struggle to close out Julia Goerges in the second round, failing to serve out both the first and second sets, before ultimately recording a 7-6 7-6 win. Against the in-form Collins, such lapses will surely prove costly. Indeed, the American’s aggressive returning and ability to take the ball early could well fire her into her first semifinal of the season.

Prediction: Collins in 3

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