Marta Kostyuk vs Veronika Kudermetova - 2021 Abu Dhabi Semi-Final
Tuesday January 12th, 2021 / 5:15am EST
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A surprising Semi-Final matchup awaits us at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Open in Dubai. The match will take place on Tuesday January 12th, 2021 at approximately 5:15am EST. The unseeded pair of Marta Kostyuk of the Ukraine and Veronika Kudermetova of Russia face off for the first time and both will be delighted to have gotten this far. Which one will be victorious and make the Final of the first WTA tournament for the year?
18 year old Marta Kostyuk is currently ranked #99 but that ranking should significantly improve after this week. She has been touted as a future star of the women's game and has shown why by her impressive performances this week. She has struggled with her serve at times but has compensated for that with her aggressive and clean baseline hitting, dominating opponents. In the Quarter-Finals, she displayed her remarkable maturity and focus by recovering from losing the first set 6-0 to comprehensively defeat Sara Sorribes Tormo in the final two sets. If she is able to to replicate that focus in the semis she will be extremely hard to beat.
46th ranked Veronika Kudermetova has been equally as impressive this week in Dubai. Her serve has been particularly outstanding, serving 11 aces in her Quarter-Final upset over second seeded Elina Svitolina where she also showed a tremendous mental capacity to win in three sets, preventing an "all Ukranian" Semi-Final. She has much more experience than her opponent despite her relatively young age of 23, and will be expecting to use her big serve and forehand to be dominant throughout this match.
This match has all the makings of another three set battle. Both ladies have had an equally impressive run to this point and will be extremely confident. I think there is not much to separate the two, so I am siding with the more experienced Kudermetova to edge the match in a tight thriller. I would not at all be surprised if the 18 year old Kostyuk is able to spring yet another upset to reach her maiden WTA Final, but she enters this match as the slight underdog. Veronika Kudermetova to win.