WTA Moscow: Semi Final Predictions


WTA Moscow: Three Russians out of four ain’t bad!

The semi finals have been decided at the 2015 Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Russia.

Svetlana Kuznetsova will play Lesia Tsurenko and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will play Darya Kasatkina! Did I predict this? Find out here!

Here’s my prediction as to who will reach the final.


(32/-) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs (37/-) Lesia Tsurenko

Kuznetsova is into only her second semi final of the year, having reached the final in Madrid back in May. Though the 30 year old was hampered by a leg injury this summer, she’s bounced back as always at her home event, reaching at least the quarter finals in her past six attempts. The Russian has dropped just one set all week, recovering to beat the versatile qualifier, Anastasija Sevastova 57 61 63 in the quarter finals to reach her third career semi final at this event. Amazingly, the two time Grand Slam champion and former world number two has yet to reach the final here, losing to Serena Williams in 2007 and Samantha Stosur in 2013.

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Tsurenko has made some surprisingly deep runs at hard court events, this being her third semi final of the year. The Ukrainian won her first title this summer in Istanbul and has beaten five top 10 players on the surface this year. In reaching the third Premier level semi final of her career, after Brisbane 2013 and New Haven this year, the 26 year old has dropped just one set against (26/8) Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the second round, winning 76(5) 46 63. She then benefitted from the withdrawal of (8/3 WC) Flavia Pennetta prior to the quarter finals, who pulled out with a right foot injury shortly after securing her place at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Coincidentally, the only previous meeting between Kuznetsova and Tsurenko came in the first round here in 2013. Kuznetsova edged a tough first set en route to a 75 62 win.

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Kuznetsova wont get too many better chances to finally win the Kremlin Cup than this. She must use her versatility on this slow and rather spongy court to try and break down Tsurenko’s solid and deceptively powerful game.

Prediction: Svetlana Kuznetsova

(31/-) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs (104/Q) Darya Kasatkina

Pavlyuchenkova has regained long lost form in the second half of the year, this being her fourth semi final since Wimbledon. The 24 year old is on an incredible eighteen match winning streak on indoor hard courts, winning the titles here and in Paris last year, as well as Linz last week. The last time she lost on the surface was in the semi finals here against Simona Halep in 2013. Earlier this week, the Russian battled through niggling injuries to outlast Monica Niculescu 75 06 64 and (9/2) Lucie Safarova 61 67(2) 63. In the quarters, she looked much sharper in hitting some inch perfect lobs to cruise past Margarita Gasparyan 61 63.

Kasatkina is the surprise package amongst the semi finalists this week as this is only her fourth main draw appearance of the year. The 18 year old has developed quickly since winning the girl’s singles title at the French Open in 2014. This year, the Russian has won five ITF level titles and advanced to the third round of the US Open in her Grand Slam debut as a lucky loser. Amazingly, Kasatkina has already played and won six matches this week, at best accounting for last year’s finalist, (29/7) Irina Camelia Begu 63 36 63 in the second round and (14/5) Carla Suarez Navarro 61 62 in the quarters. Her impressive blend of consistency and aggression was too much for the passive Spaniard, whose loss secured Lucie Safarova’s place at the WTA Finals.

Unsurprisingly, Pavlyuchenkova and Kasatkina haven’t played before. Pavlyuchenkova might have been struggling with injuries and fatigue this week but I feel that her experience and winning momentum should be too much for her opponent. Though I don’t think Kasatkina will lose the match because she’s tired in her seventh match of the week, I feel that she’ll be nervous in one of the biggest matches of her career to date. I predict Pavlyuchenkova will reach her third final of the year and second in as many weeks, extending her indoor streak to nineteen matches in the process.

Prediction: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Next: WTA Moscow: Preview & Predictions

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