After predicting a measly half of the quarterfinalists at the beginning of the week, I successfully predicted the winners of all four quarterfinal matchups. Emboldened by my previous choices, I will analyze the upcoming semifinals, where each player has either won or reached the final of a major in the last two years. And Saturday should be great with Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek in action.
Semifinal 1: (1) Iga Swiatek vs. (7) Coco Gauff
Friday afternoon, Iga Swiatek won a battle of reigning major champions when she defeated Marketa Vondrousova 7-6(3), 6-1. Vondrousova served for the first set twice but was undone by untimely double faults. After gutting out the first set, Swiatek began finding more rhythm on her groundstrokes and was patient in dealing with Vondrousova’s heavy top spin forehands.
Predictions for Cincy Open WTA semis, including Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek
Up next for Swiatek is a mouthwatering encounter against American starlet Coco Gauff, who easily defeated qualifier Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-2. Gauff, a recent winner in Washington DC and quarterfinalist in Montreal has shaken off the disappointment of an early exit at Wimbledon to play some of her best, and most aggressive, tennis. Gauff seems more comfortable on her forehand, which will need to be firing against Swiatek.
Gauff has never won a set in 7 meetings against Swiatek, including in the 2022 French Open final. Swiatek has controlled their previous encounters by attacking Gauff’s second serve and targeting her forehand. Given Gauff’s recent form, I think she can manage a set here. However, Swiatek seems to have her number at this stage in their young careers.
Prediction: Swiatek in three sets
Semifinal 2: Karolina Muchova vs. (2) Aryana Sabalenka
Karolina Muchova moved into the first WTA 1000 semifinal of her career after Marie Bouzkova retired three games into their quarterfinal. Despite the unfortunate walkover, Muchova should feel good about her game as she is starting to find the game that has taken her to the latter stages of the majors.
Muchova will compete for a place in the finals against second seed Aryna Sabalenka. Sabalenka avenged her Wimbledon loss to Ons Jabeur, defeating her 7-5, 6-3.
Muchova and Sabalenka have contrasting styles which should make for an intriguing matchup. However, Sabalenka’s A-game is better than Muchova’s and I expect her to bring close to her best tennis.
Prediction: Sabalenka in straight sets