WTA Betting: Back Halep to set up Cibulkova showdown in Wuhan Open final
World number one Angelique Kerber is out, as is our tournament tip Karolina Pliskova.However, we’re still left with two high-quality semi-final clashes to look forward to, starting with Simona Halep taking on Petra Kvitova.
Halep to see off Kvitova to extend winning streak
The Romanian ace has been in good form so far this week, and she’s also had the added bonus of qualifying for the WTA Finals.
It was a relatively straight-forward run up until the last round, but she stepped it up a gear with her straight-sets win over Madison Keys.
In contrast, Kvitova has had a hugely difficult run but has collected wins over Jelena Ostapenko, Elina Svitolina, Johanna Konta and Kerber, with whom she was involved in a real battle that has earned the tag of being the match of the year.
Although it took three hours and 20 minutes to separate the pair, the Czech ace wasn’t affected by it in her win over Konta last time out, but with the quick turnarounds, it’s bound to catch up with her and Halep will be a nightmare to play against.
The 25-year-old has won all three of their previous meetings, including a win in the Fed Cup earlier this year, although it required the pair to go the distance before a winner emerged.
We’re backing Halep to make it 4-0, but given her form and current momentum, we expect Kvitova to run her close in another tough match.
Cibulkova to march on past Kuznetsova
The second semi-final pits Cibulkova against Svetlana Kuznetsova, and both players can boast some impressive wins so far this week.
Kuznetsova has seen off Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska in her last two outings, while her upcoming opponent defeated Pliskova in the third round.
Similarly to Kvitova, you have to wonder how much Kuznetsova’s exertions this week have taken out of her, as she was involved in a marathon encounter with Radwanska late Thursday morning UK time.
With Cibulkova buzzing around on the other side of the net, the Slovakian ace could make this really uncomfortable for her veteran rival, and history shows she has some real momentum on her side.
She’s won the last four consecutive meetings between the pair to take a 4-3 lead overall, although admittedly you have to go back to 2011 for their last encounter.
Regardless, we’re confident that Cibulkova has the style, form and confidence to book her spot in the final this weekend.