KUDERMETOVA – KALININA
The Russian player is in the semifinals here after beating Qinwen Zheng in three sets after losing the first set. The match wasn’t so interesting, and in the end the player who controlled her nerves better in the crucial moment of the third set. Both players served very well during the whole match and there weren’t many long rallies between two aggressive players and finally Kudermetova struggled better with her nerves against a player who practiced a similar style than her. The Russian player is feeling very comfortable during this European clay swing and serving very well with her powerful first serve which is helping her to win some matches on a surface when you usually need to play long points and be a good defender.
The Ukrainian player beat Haddad Maia in an awesome thriller that she needed more than 3 hours and a half. Both players played a very solid game from the baseline and finally Kalinina turned up a 3-0 down in the last set thanks to her best shot selection against a Haddad Maia who missed a lot with her lefty forehand in the last moments of a very intense match against two clay court specialists who have us a very intense match with two tie-break and one of the longest matches in 2023. Kalinina is feeling very good with her powerful backhand which is giving her a lot of points during the whole tournament.
The match is a contrast of two different styles of game. On one hand, we have Kudermetova, who practices a very aggressive game with a powerful serve and a very good backhand which gives her a lot of points. In the other part we have Kalinina, who plays with more control than her opponent but doesn’t have the power that the Russian has on her shots. In my opinion, Kudermetova is playing better but Kalinina has more shot selections which can put Kudermetova in trouble and this is one of the facts that I think Kalinina has a big value as an underdog here.