Fixture: Marta Kostyuk vs Veronika Kudermetova
Date: 12 January 2021
Tournament: Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open 2021
Venue: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Approx. 1:30 pm local time, 3 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Marta Kostyuk vs Veronika Kudermetova preview
Cross-border rivals Marta Kostyuk and Veronika Kudermetova will lock horns in the semifinals of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Women’s Tennis Open on Tuesday.
The 46th-ranked Kudermetova upset second seed Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals, coming from a set down to stage a remarkable victory. The 23-year-old won 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(3) to eliminate one of the title favorites.
Kudermetova has put forth a magnificent display in Abu Dhabi so far, punching well above her weight. The Russian defeated 10th seed Anett Kontaveit in straight sets in her opening round fixture. And she followed that up with impressive wins over Bianca Turati and Paula Badosa to reach the quarterfinals.
Against Svitolina, Veronika Kudermetova served up 11 aces, her highest tally in the tournament so far. The 23-year-old has a powerful first serve and an even bigger forehand, and she will be relying on those weapons against Marta Kostyuk as well.
This is the first time since Hobart last year that Kudermetova has made it to the last four of an event. She will be especially keen to make it to the final here given that she hasn't reach one for almost two years now (Abierto Zapopan Open, March 2019).
Marta Kostyuk, meanwhile, overcame the challenge of Sara Sorribes Tormo in her quarterfinal encounter. Quite remarkably, the Ukrainian overcame a bagel in the opening set to ultimately win 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Kostyuk has been earmarked by many to have a bright future, and she showed exactly why in her match against Sorribes Tormo. The 18-year-old struggled a lot with her serve and net play in the opening set but improved drastically to level out the match.
Kostyuk hit a whopping 13 winners in the second set, while her excellent court coverage ensured that Sorribes Tormo couldn't hit any returns past her.
Having reached her maiden WTA semifinal, Marta Kostyuk will be hoping to make it one better and reach the finals.
Marta Kostyuk vs Veronika Kudermetova head-to-head
Marta Kostyuk and Veronika Kudermetova have never played against each other on tour before. As such, their head-to-head stands at 0-0.
Marta Kostyuk vs Veronika Kudermetova prediction
Marta Kostyuk and Veronika Kudermetova are both powerful strikers of the ball. They enjoy going flat and big on the forehand, which at times leads to a high unforced error count.
Despite Kostyuk having a decently powerful serve, she doesn’t generate as much power off it as Kudermetova does. But given the quicker courts in play this year, we can expect some quickfire service games from the two.
Kudermetova is also better-equipped on her backhand wing, which she can use to finish off rallies with ease.
Both players are adept in the forecourt area, but it remains to be seen how well Kostyuk deals with Kudermetova's stinging passes. The Russian comes in with more experience too, and that is likely to help her edge what promises to be a thrilling contest.
Prediction: Veronika Kudermetova to win in three sets.Published 11 Jan 2021, 22:12 IST