The weekend is fast approaching in Stuttgart, Germany, as some of the WTA’s best look to raise the title at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
Eight of the Top 10 players in the world started the week in the draw, but only four made it to quarterfinal Friday. Current world No. 1 Iga Swiatek takes the court on Day 4 against former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova. We at LWOT have the preview and prediction for that match and all other happenings around the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. But who will advance?
Aryna Sabalenka has been on a tear in 2023. She holds a 21-3 record and is No. 1 in the Live Race to the WTA Finals, though, she has never been as strong of a clay-court player.
It will be intriguing to see if the world No. 2 can stay atop the Live Rankings over the next six weeks. Sabalenka squares off against Paula Badosa in the Stuttgart quarterfinals.
Badosa has dropped just five total games in two matches this week and is playing some of the best tennis of anyone in the field. The Spaniard has always raised her level on the clay and must do so to get by Sabalenka. While I expect the Spaniard to come out with aggression, I believe Sabalenka will settle in and take control of this match.
Head-to-Head: Garcia 1-1 Potapova
Caroline Garcia and Anastasia Potapova will square off on Friday looking to break a 1-1 head-to-head split. Garcia is the No. 4 seed in Stuttgart but has been playing inconsistent tennis over the last six weeks.
Potapova, on the other hand, holds a 12-3 record since early February and is coming off a 6-2 6-3 win over Coco Gauff. The 22-year-old Russian is coming into her own and holds a career-high ranking of No. 24.
I expect Potapova to be able to force Garcia deep into the court, forcing her to come up with small-margin winners to break through. Ultimately, I trust the 22-year-old to power her way into the semis.
Current world No. 1 Iga Swiatek squares off against former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova with a spot in the Stuttgart semifinals on the line. In their only previous meeting back in 2021, Swiatek double-bageled Pliskova in the Rome final. That result will certainly not be repeated, but Pliskova faces an up-hill challenge against the Pole. Having won just one title in five events this season, Swiatek has taken the clay courts of Stuttgart with the mission of defending her title on her mind. She will enter this match focused and ready to compete. Her consistency and variety will be too much for Pliskova.