The semi-finals will be played at the WTA 250 in Parma. As is to be expected in the WTA, only two seeded make up the four semi-finalists and only one of the top five seeded in the draw has reached this stage. That seed is No. 1 seeded player of the tournament Maria Sakkari, who is the big favorite for the title.
However, the clay court swing in the fall is full of specialists on the surface, including the three other semi-finalists. All players are veterans and Danka Kovinic is hoping to use her surface experience to get past Sakkari and fight for her first WTA title of her career. Both Ana Bogdan and Mayar Sherif are comfortable on clay and as neither was expected to reach the semis, they look forward to continuing their run and making the most of the opportunity. It’s likely to be another exciting day of tennis with plenty up for grabs for all four women and both matches are featured below.
WTA Parma semi final predictions
Ana Bogdan vs Mayar Sherif
Head to head: first date
Sherif is the big surprise in the semifinals but has looked great this week winning all six sets she played. She is in a rare phase for her as she has only reached one WTA final in her career. Bogdan hasn’t reached a final above the 125 level either, but she did win her first career title at the WTA 125 clay event in Romania earlier this year. Bogdan has never favored any particular surface in the past, but surpassed this year on clay with an impressive 18-7 surface record.
Much more of a specialist, Sherif wins most of her matches on clay. In 2022, Sherif has a 16-5 record on clay compared to 3-12 on all other surfaces. Both players are in good current form and switched to clay after the US Open. The difference in this match lies in Sherif’s comfort on the surface and her strong play this week, proving to be a real threat for the title in Parma. The Egyptian has been sharp all week and she will shed the excitement to reach the finals.
Prediction: Sherif in 3
Maria Sakkari vs Danka Kovinic
Head to head: 2-1 Kovinic
Although Kovinic has come out on top in their previous encounters, they haven’t played since 2018. Sakkari has improved drastically since then and is now one of the top players on the tour. She is an all-court player and has had most of her success on clay courts. Kovinic is much more of a clay court specialist looking to make the most of her chance on clay before the end of the year. She is a solid player with great results at the ITF level, but has only beaten a top 10 player three times in her long career.
Sakkari looked a bit vulnerable this week, losing the first set in all three of her matches. However, Kovinic wasn’t very dominant either, losing a set in two of their three matches. The matchup certainly favors Sakkari as her elite strength and fitness allow her to give Kovinic more than she can handle. The Greek should advance to fight for her first title of 2022.
Prognosis: Sakkari in the 2nd
Main photo by Getty.