WTA Tour: Morocco Open Semi-Finals Preview

Tennis player stands with racquet in hand

We preview the two WTA Tour Morocco Open semi-finals taking place on Friday 4 May. 

Ajla Tomljanovic 6/10 | Aleksandra Krunic 12/10 
Croatin born Aussie Tomljanovic has fought hard to shake off the nametag of just being Ms Nick Kyrgios. But her performance this week seems to suggest that she is finding her best form ahead of the most important two months on the tennis circuit. That victory over Flipkens accentuated the fact that she is here to play this week. Tomljanovic’s year has largely seen her toil on the less extravagant Challenger Series Circuit. She has at least performed, with two semi-final appearances to his name this year. Her quarterfinal appearance in Monterrey was her highlight thus far, but victories over Flipkens, Fett and Espinoza have emphasized the raw ability she possesses.

seventh seed Aleksandra Krunic has received a fairly fortunate draw, with victories over Arruabarrena, Sorriboa Torma and Paula Badosa Gibert. But you still have to beat that which is put in front of you. Looking at her year, it’s hard to really separate her from Tomljanovic in terms of determining the seeded player. She had a quarter-final appearance early doors in Brisbane, but since then it’s really been a win here, a win there. She picked up an impressive win over Makarova in Istanbul, but her year has been largely insignificant.

Krunic leads the head-to-head 1-0, with a victory in last year’s US Open. But that was perhaps when Krunic was in her best-ever form, and I just have the feeling that the Aussie will be more match prepared than the Serbian. 5/4 doesn’t look to bad for Tomljanovic. 

Elise Mertens 2/11 | Su-Wei Hsieh 33/10 
The Belgian top seed has managed to move through her section quite seamlessly, seeing off Errani, Siegemund and Kucova on the way. Mertens has had the most schizophrenic season. She won in Hobart before that sensational run to the semi-finals in the Australian Open. She then had a mid-season sojourn, failing to make any impact for months. Then she managed to win on the clay in Charleston before her run here. So it seems as if Mertens is a player who is intent on fine-tuning her game as Grand Slams approach. The 22 year-old has devastating power and may find the challenge awaiting her rather intriguing.

Veteran Chinese Taipei star Su-Wei Hsieh is best known as a former World Number One Double’s star. The multiple Grand Slam Champion has had a serviceable single’s career, with 2 WTA Titles to her name. Her combination of slice-shots and drop-shots make her a tricky opponent on clay. She has only overcome the likes of Zavatska, Zidanseka and Mattek-Sands thus far, but it was that run in Melbourne that really defined her year. Victories over Muguruza and Radwankska helped her to a credible Round of 16 appearance at the Australian Open. She narrowly lost to Kerber in the fourth Round, highlighting how dangerous she can be.

The two players have actually never met before, which may actually play in the favour of the woman from Chinese Taipei. Her idiosyncratic slice based approach creates weird angles and could catch Mertens off guard, so 33/10 for Hsieh does have its appeal. But the Belgian is in red hot form and should be able to figure it out.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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