Top seed Dayana Yastremska will face Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the semifinal of the 2021 Hamburg Open on Saturday, July 10. Get the live streaming options of this Dayana Yastremska v Elena-Gabriela Ruse match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Dayana Yastremska v Elena-Gabriela Ruse Head to Head
Yastremska and Ruse have not played each other at tour-level before this. But the pair squared off in an ITF event in Santa Margherita in 2017, in which the Romanian won in three sets.
Yastremska Targets First Final on Return to Tennis
Dayana Yastremska marked her return to tennis at a low-key WTA 250 event in Hamburg. After a provisional suspension for an anti-doping violation in January, she filed numerous appeals thereafter but was unsuccessful.
Yastremska was ineligible to play in any tennis tournament and was forced to sit out for the best part of six months – missing three Grand Slams. However, the suspension was lifted towards the end of last month after she was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The Ukrainian World No. 38 marked her return on the clay courts of Hamburg, and in emphatic fashion. She won her first match against Poland’s Magdalena Frech, displaying her customary power-packed game in a 7-6 6-1 victory.
She quickly followed it up with another straight-sets win over claycourt specialist Sara Errani in another seesaw match that could have quite easily gone in favour of the Italian. Yastremska put Errani under immense pressure from the early goings.
Errani who is synonymous with having one of the weakest serves in tennis felt the full wrath of an exonerated Yastremska who broke serve six times from 16 opportunities. The Italian’s return of 36% of second-serve points won also did not hold her in good stead in a tight defeat.
Qualifier Ruse Punching Above her Weight
Elena-Gabriela Ruse has put together a fine week in Hamburg, winning five straight matches, with two of them coming in the qualifying rounds against En Shuo Liang and Isabella Shinikova.
What is even more impressive is how Ruse has maintained her standing in the main draw. Victories over tour level campaigners Jil Teichmann and Danielle Collins have come at surprisingly long odds.
Her quarterfinal win over Danielle Collins was the first time she had been pushed to three sets all week. She saved seven out of 12 breakpoints. The was very little to separate the two players, with Collins winning 94 points, to the Romanian’s 93. But the decisive fifth break in the final game of the third set was enough to see her cross the finish line.
Ranked 198 in the world, Ruse has won seven titles on clay on the ITF circuit. But after a groundbreaking week in northern Germany, the 23-year-old will target the first-career final when she takes on the fiery Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska.
Yastremska v Ruse Prediction and Tip
Considering this is Yastremska’s first tournament of the season, her level of play has been surprisingly excellent. But Romania’s Ruse is making waves this week and she has momentum on her side. Contrary to what the odds suggest, we fancy the qualifier to at least take a set here.