The WTA 250 event in Cluj-Napoca has provided superb entertainment so far. We have now reached the semifinal stage. Two-time Grand Slam runner-up Karolina Pliskova is seeking to win her first WTA title in over four years in Romania, and she is now just two matches away from achieving it. We at LWOT give our predictions and analysis in this article. But which two players do you expect to make the final?
WTA Cluj-Napoca Semifinal Predictions
Jaqueline Cristian vs Ana Bogdan
Head-to-Head: Bogdan 2-0 Cristian
There will be split loyalties in the crowd between two Romanian players. Each woman reached this stage at WTA Cluj-Napoca in very different ways. Cristian won in straight sets for the third time in a row against Anastasija Sevastova. By contrast, Bogdan beat top seed Arantxa Rus 3-6 7-6 7-6 in the quarterfinal. It was the most thrilling match of the tournament so far. Although Bogdan’s fighting spirit is to be admired, fatigue could be an issue here. Many of the rallies were long and physical against Rus and recovering without a day’s rest is likely to be challenging. Cristian has also been playing sublime tennis during the tournament, meaning this was going to be difficult for Bogdan regardless. Overall, Cristian is likely to prevail against Bogdan for the first time in three attempts.
Prediction: Bogdan in 2
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Karolina Pliskova vs Harriet Dart
Head-to-Head: Pliskova 3-0 Dart
Both players were hugely impressive in their respective WTA Cluj-Napoca quarterfinal victories. Nuria Parrizas-Diaz had looked very comfortable in the conditions in Cluj-Napoca, yet Dart swept the Spaniard aside comfortably to make the semifinal. Pliskova was a huge favourite against the 36-year-old Sara Errani but still played some great tennis in a 6-2 6-0 thrashing. Dart’s hitting does have the potential to cause the Czech problems. The former Wimbledon finalist is not among the best movers on the WTA Tour and could have some issues in the rallies. However, I am still backing Pliskova to come through this challenge. Her positive head-to-head shows that she can navigate Dart’s game well when her game is flowing. In addition, her serve has been back near its best in Cluj-Napoca, which is critical for her. She has momentum and is unlikely to let this opportunity slip.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2
Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports