Top seed Iga Swiatek will lock horns with 8th seed Veronika Kudermetova in what promises to be an intriguing semi-final clash in the Qatar Open on Friday.
The world No. 1 was ousted in the fourth round of the Australian Open. She lost to eventual finalist Elena Rybakina. The match ended in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in favor of the Kazakhstani No. 1.
Swiatek entered the Qatar Open as the top seed and received a bye into the second round. The Polish sensation squared off against world No. 42 Danielle Collins. Swiatek outplayed Collins and won the match in straight sets 6-0, 6-1. Swiatek had a win percentage of 74 on the first serve and that went up to 82 on the second serve. She converted 5 out of 7 break points in the encounter and did not face any break point herself. In the quarterfinals, she was set to face Belinda Bencic. However, the Swiss star withdrew prior to the match owing to fatigue.
The Russian star came into the tournament after being ousted by Liudmila Samsonova in the quarterfinals of the Abu Dhabi Open. She has reached the semifinals of an ATP event for the second time in 2023.
Kudermetova began her campaign in the Qatar Open with a hard-fought win against Barbora Krejcikova. The match ended in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) in favor of Kudermetova. She went on to defeat Sofia Kenin in straight sets 6-2, 7-5 in the second round. Kudermetova smashed 13 aces in this encounter. She followed it up with another solid performance against 4th seed Coco Gauff. The 25-year-old won 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
Head-to-Head and Prediction
Iga Swiatek has a 2-0 lead in the head-to-head scoreline. She defeated Kudermetova comprehensively in straight sets in the 2021 BNP Paribas Open. The match ended 6-1, 6-0 in favor of the Polish star.
Prediction: Iga Swiatek to win in three sets.
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