It’s quarterfinals day at the WTA 250 level TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul. Four seeds remain, all four face an unseeded player for a spot in the semifinals on Friday at the Istanbul Tennis Centre. The second seeded Sorana Cirstea continues her title defense with a matchup against Austrian qualifier Julia Grabher, can the Romanian successfully defend her title this week? Let’s take a look at each of the quarterfinal matchups, who will advance to the semifinals in Istanbul?
WTA Istanbul Quarterfinal Predictions
(6) Ajla Tomljanovic vs. Yulia Putintseva
H2H: Putintseva 3-1.
Yulia Putintseva overcame a serious test in the opening round when she beat Magda Linette 7-6 6-4, an opponent she has struggled against in the past. The Kazakh cruised through the second round with a comprehensive 6-0 6-2 win against Rebecca Peterson, a confidence boosting win for the 27-year-old. Meanwhile, Ajla Tomljanovic has been lucky this week, an easy 6-1 6-3 win over lucky-loser Jaimee Fourlis was followed by a 6-4 1-0 win over Lesia Tsurenko via retirement. Tomljanovic faces a far greater test in the next round against a troublesome opponent.
Putintseva has won the last couple of matchups against Tomljanovic. A 6-0 6-4 win in Lexington in 2020, and more recently a 3-6 7-5 6-3 victory in San Jose last year. This will be their first meeting on a clay court, a surface which should further favor Putintseva in this matchup. I can’t see Tomljanovic turning things around in this matchup given her mediocre recent form and the strong form Putintseva has shown this week on her favorite tournament. Tomljanovic is unlikely to have the strength and discipline to overcome this challenge.
Prediction: Putintseva in 2.
(7) Sara Sorribes Tormo vs. (Q) Anastasia Potapova
H2H: First meeting.
A matchup of contrasting styles. The consistency and versatility of Sara Sorribes Tormo against the aggressive, flat hitting of Anastasia Potapova. The Spaniard has looked great this week through a pair of commanding wins over Qiang Wang 6-3 6-2 and Varvara Gracheva 6-2 6-1. Potapova has scored a pair of straight set wins over her own in the main draw, 6-1 6-4 over Nikola Bartunkova and 6-2 6-3 over Petra Martic.
A clay court surface definitely favors Sorribes Tormo in this matchup in what will be the first meeting between the pair. Potapova will need to play extremely well to stand a chance. Sorribes Tormo looks very solid this week and will probably be too tough for Potapova who can struggle in these types of matchups against players that give very little away for free.
Prediction: Sorribes Tormo in 2.
(3) Veronika Kudermetova vs. Anna Bondar
H2H: First meeting.
Veronika Kudermetova has barely raised a sweat this week. A 6-2 6-0 opening round win over Marina Melnikova was followed by a walkover courtesy of Ana Bogdan. Conversely, Anna Bondar has done well to come through a pair of tough matchups in straight sets, a 6-4 7-5 win over the eighth seeded Tereza Martincova and a 6-4 6-2 victory against Nuria Parrizas-Diaz. Bondar is seemingly better prepared heading into this match and will be a decent test for Kudermetova. Nevertheless, Kudermetova is definitely the better player and will be too powerful if she finds her range. Kudermetova’s overall form over the last few months suggest she will indeed be too strong in this matchup.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 2.
(2) Sorana Cirstea vs. (Q)Julia Grabher
H2H: Cirstea 1-0.
Sorana Cirstea’s title defense came extremely close to ending in the second round where she was forced to save a pair of match points in a 3-6 6-1 7-5 win over Arantxa Rus. Julia Grabher is having the best week of her career with four straight set victories via the qualifying draw. A 6-4 6-4 second round win over the fifth seeded Jil Teichmann was the best win of the 25-year-old’s career. Nevertheless, I think this is where Grabher’s run comes to an inevitable ending. Cirstea is clearly a class above, more experienced at this level and will have a greater sense of freedom after her narrow escape in the previous round.
Prediction: Cirstea in 2.