TennisSection previews the 2023 Qatar Open as Iga Swiatek takes on Veronika Kudermetova in the semifinal on Friday, February 17, 2023.
Iga Swiatek made an emphatic start to her title defense at the Qatar Open in Doha. And she received a walkover as quarterfinal opponent Belinda Bencic withdrew from the tournament. She will take on surprise semifinalist Veronika Kudermetova. Who will prevail?
Iga Swiatek quelled fears that her dominance might be over and instead delivered a total shellacking to Danielle Collins, dropping a mere one game in 53 minutes of brutal tennis. The Polish World No. 1, playing for the first time since her fourth-round exit at the Aussie Open, lost just four points in the first set, as Collins failed to muster a single winner from her racket. The second set was slightly competitive at the start, but once Swiatek got into another gear, she romped to victory under the lights. Swiatek was scheduled to take on Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinal, but the Swiss pulled out, apparently due to fatigue after her comeback win over Victoria Azarenka.
Veronika Kudermetova, for her part, stunned fourth seed Coco Gauff in three sets. Kudermetova is now into her second semifinal of 2023 after authoring her 11th top-10 win of her career at the Qatar Open. The match against Gauff was played under heavy winds and testing conditions, but the Russian’s aggressive game shone in contrast to the American who struggled throughout the afternoon to find her range. She will now attempt to pull off the shock of the week by ousting World No. 1 Iga Swiatek on Friday.
Iga Swiatek leads Veronika Kudermetova 2-0 in their head-to-head. Swiatek has also not lost a set to the Russian in each of their last two meetings, winning their last bout at Indian Wells in 2021, dropping just one game. The Pole’s title defense got off to the best possible start. She was clinical, dominant, and unerring from the baseline. We expect Swiatek to race to another quick victory here and reach Saturday’s final at the Qatar Open.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Iga Swiatek in 2 sets
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