Wuhan Open Day 3 Predictions – Including Ashleigh Barty vs Caroline Garcia

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Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka has been on cruise control in Wuhan. The #5 seed Petra Kvitova brought in a straight sets win against a difficult opponent, Polona Hercog. Angelique Kerber’s 2019 continues to go askew, losing her opening round in three sets to Monica Puig.

Day 3 at the Wuhan Open has some great matches in store. Here’s a look at four matches, and predictions for who’s moving on to the next round. Don’t worry, we also have predictions for four other matches.

Wuhan Open Day 3 Predictions

Belinda Bencic vs Veronika Kudermetova

Head to head: Bencic 1-2 Kudermetova

Belinda Bencic has been one of the most in-form players on the WTA Tour. The rare combination of clever defense and aggressive offense gave Bencic a run to the semifinals at the US Open. The Swiss can beat anyone on any given day. And, her focus and fine form should give Bencic a deep run in Wuhan. In fact, I think Bencic is one of the frontrunners for the title.

It’s interesting that Veronika Kudermetova leads this head to head. Yet, Bencic’s win is recent (Eastbourne) and she’s in much better form than the first two meetings. Kudermetova turned in a strong performance, battling back from a first set deficit. It was the Russian’s return of serve which impressed. Breaking Ekaterina Alexandrova’s serve on six of 12 opportunities really propelled the victory. The Russian’s serve was the pain point in the match. It’s Kudermetova’s 52% of first serves in play which will give Bencic the opening she needs.
Prediction: Bencic in 2

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Garbine Muguruza vs Elina Svitolina

Head to head: Muguruza 4-5 Svitolina

Garbine Muguruza finally snapped her losing streak with an opening round win over Peng Shuai. The Spaniard’s last win at Roland Garros came at Elina Svitolina’s expense. It seems when Muguruza is serving well, the other pieces of her game fall nicely into place. Dropping only six points on her first serve gave Muguruza a confidence boost. Perhaps the coaching change will serve Muguruza well and help her return to her top level.

Svitolina is a question mark in my mind. Struggling with knee injuries and her recent retirement in Guangzhou, Svitolina’s fitness level is unknown coming into Wuhan. If Svitolina is health and close to 100%, her counterpunching will frustrate Muguruza. The #3 seed will be committed to a solid performance in Wuhan hoping to secure her spot in the WTA Finals and defend her title. Yet, any lingering injury will jeopardize not just the WTA Final bid, but may eliminate her Wuhan campaign. This is a hard match to predict, as the Ukrainian’s knee is the key. I’ll assume it’s good enough to see her through a Muguruza threat.
Prediction: Svitolina in 3

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Amanda Anisimova vs Karolina Pliskova

Head to head: Anisimova 0-1 Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova opens her Wuhan campaign against teen phenom Amanda Anisimova. The American rising star returns to the Tour following father’s death. Anisimova last played at the Silicon Valley Classic where she lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Zheng Saisai. Surely, it will take a bit for Anisimova to shake off the rust. Against Sam Stosur, the 18-year-old American struggled with her service. Usually a weapon for easy points, Anisimova had four aces offset by four double faults. Overall, the American won 67% of her first serves in play and broke the Stosur serve on 33% of opportunities. It will be a difficult second round for Anisimova as she’ll be playing an in-form Karolina Pliskova.

Pliskova has had an outstanding 2019 with an impressive 48-12 win/loss record. The Czech should be very confident following her Zhengzhou title, her fourth of the year. Pliskova’s powerful groundstrokes and solid serving may prove too much for Anisimova, especially with a two months hiatus. While Wuhan has never been a great venue for the #2 seed, I don’t see a second round exit here.
Prediction: Pliskova in 3

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Ashleigh Barty vs Carolina Garcia

Head to head: Barty 1-1 Garcia

Caroline Garcia’s only win over Ashleigh Barty came in 2017 at the Wuhan Open. Certainly, the Australian superstar will be looking to avoid a repeat of that result. Barty should be refreshed after having a few weeks’ rest. The obvious fatigue during three set bouts at the US Open should be gone. And, the World #1’s consistency and finesse should be at the forefront of this match.

Garcia had a great win over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina – a match between two struggling players. The Frenchwoman served 69% of first serve in play. It put her in a great position to hold her service, a feat which hasn’t happened easily of late. Garcia hasn’t had back to back wins since Mallorca and against a well-rested Barty, I don’t see it happening here.
Prediction: Barty in 2

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Disagree with our Wuhan Open Day 3 predictions? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.