Qatar Total Open 2019: Semi-final 2, Angelique Kerber vs Elise Mertens: Preview and Prediction

Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber

The second semi-final of the 2019 Qatar Open will be played between the third seed Angelique Kerber and the unseeded Elise Mertens.

The two-time Grand Slam champion German certainly comes into this match as the overwhelming favourite against the unseeded Belgian. However, Kerber has not had the best of starts to the season.

She had a rather underwhelming performance at the Australian Open where she lost to the unheralded American Danielle Collins in a shockingly one-sided encounter in the fourth round. The spectre of that defeat seemed to rise during her quarter final match in Doha, where she looked all at sea in the first set against Barbora Strycova.

But unlike the Collins match, she recovered quickly to win the second set and then eke out a close third set in the tie-breaker. She has always been known for her never-say-die attitude, and that was in full display in the later stages of her quarter final match.

She had to struggle a bit in her first match itself as well against Anett Kontaveit. Having won the first set rather easily, she was taken to the tie-break in the second set. She has especially struggled on her serve, and has been broken seven times in the two matches so far.

Elise Mertens
Elise Mertens

Her opponent in the semi-final is the unseeded Belgian Elise Mertens. The twenty-three year old promising youngster has the game to be among the top WTA players. She has shown enough evidence of her talent in the three matches she has played so far.

Her win against the fifth seed Kiki Bertens was especially impressive. Though she won a point less than Bertens on the return games, she managed to win the crucial points when it mattered. She was able to break Bertens' serve four times while being broken only twice herself.

She will need to bring her A-game to the match against Kerber if she hopes to stand any chance of causing yet another upset.

Prediction: Angelique Kerber to win in Straight Sets

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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