Former Australian Open semifinalist and top seed Elise Mertens meets red hot Veronika Kudermetova of Russia in the semifinals of the 2021 WTA Istanbul Open on Saturday, April 24. Get the live streaming options of this Elise Mertens v Veronika Kudermetova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elise Mertens v Veronika Kudermetova Head to Head
There have been three previous matches played between these two players before this and Mertens leads 3-0. Interestingly, all those matches were played on the hard courts and barring their maiden clash in Moscow in 2016, which went to three sets, Mertens have always dominated their rivalry.
In fact, the Belgian has a definitive mental edge over the Russian as she has posed a multitude of problems for her in the past. Actually, Kudermetova’s biggest problem against Mertens has been her inability to break through her defenses in lengthy exchanges from the baseline.
Mertens Eases Past Siniakova
Top seed Mertens eased past Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals after she put up a masterclass of attacking tennis in Istanbul.
Indeed, she was simply outstanding in all the departments of the game as she served exceptionally well, was extremely solid from both wings and returned Siniakova’s serve with brute force.
There’s no denying the fact that there has been a phenomenal improvement in Mertens’ game of late. The Belgian has risen to No. 17 in the world and the biggest factor behind her rise has been her calm demeanor on the court.
When things are not going her way, Mertens stays patient and resolute and more often than not, finds a way out of an adverse situation. The Leuven native is a fierce fighter on the court and loves to confront her adversaries, even when the odds are stacked against her.
Kudermetova Finally Breaks Bogdan Hoodoo
Challenging Mertens for a place in Sunday’s showpiece final will be the supremely gifted Veronika Kudermetova. On Friday, the Russian finally broke her hoodoo against Ana Bogdan as she came from behind to claim her first win over the Romanian.
Kudermetova, who had lost all her previous three matches against Bogdan, once again looked to be heading towards her fourth straight defeat at the hands of the 102nd-ranked player as she lost the opening set of their match on Friday.
But, the twist in the tale came in the second set as Kudermetova started to find her range, particularly on her returns. As she began to find her touch, she also started to dominate proceedings from the baseline and ultimately, went on to level the match at a set apiece.
Kudermetova continued her good form, even at the beginning of the deciding set and looked set to notch up a massive win over Bogdan, when she broke her opponent’s serve in the first few games. But, Bogdan fought back briefly before the Kazan native upped the ante and broke back immediately to complete, what could easily be called as an extremely satisfying victory for Kudermetova.
With her triumph over her nemesis Bogdan, Kudermetova stretched her winning streak to nine matches. Will she be able to win two more matches to claim the title in Istanbul?
Mertens v Kudermetova Prediction and Tip
It is extremely tough to choose a winner between Mertens and Kudermetova, but considering the Russian has won her previous nine matches, she automatically becomes the heavy favourite to win this match. Expecting Kudermetova to extend her winning streak to ten matches on Saturday.
Tip: Kudermetova to win in three sets: 3/1 (bet365)