Tianjin Open Day 1 Predictions – Including Caroline Garcia vs Anastasia Potapova

WTA Jurmala Caroline Garcia
Spread the love

The quote “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” summarizes sports journalism all to well. Originally scheduled to cover the now postponed Hong Kong Open gave me the honor to cover the Tianjin Open. I recognize I may well be the mouse – 鼠光, or “A mouse’s vision is only one inch long,” a familiar Mandarin saying. While I’m thrilled to predict for Tianjin, my heart goes out to everyone effected by the unrest in Hong Kong. 

The Tianjin Open kicks off first round play on Monday (Sunday night in the US). The 2018 defending champion Caroline Garcia begins her campaign against Anastasia Potapova. Here’s a look at four match-ups and our predictions for who’ll secure their spot in the second round.

Tianjin Open Day 1 Predictions

Wang Yafan vs Lauren Davis

Head to head: Wang 1-0 Davis

Lauren Davis’ retirement at Wuhan sent China’s Wang Yafan on to a second round bout with Sloane Stephens. Wang eventually lost to Stephen after pushing the seeded Stephens to a decider. That’s pretty much the story of Wang’s 2019. Battling to win, gaining momentum, only to be denied in the next round. In fact, after Wang’s first title win in Acapulco in February, she lost in the opening round in Indian Wells. Miami saw Wang reach the Round of 16. Then, the Chinese lost in the first round of Rabat, Madrid, Rome, Strasbourg, Roland Garros and ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Tianjin is a great opportunity for the inconsistent Wang to gain her equilibrium.

Lauren Davis will be looking for a deep run at this WTA International level tournament. The petite American has had mixed results, achieving the greatest success on the ITF circuit. Davis’ speed and fight have seen her push to most capable opponents to a third set. Yet, it seems that’s where Davis tends to lose. I see this match going the distance, but eventually Wang will edge it out in the third set.
Prediction: Wang in 3

Embed from Getty Images

Venus Williams vs Rebecca Peterson

Head to head: First meeting

It’s nothing short of remarkable how Venus Williams has defied Father Time. Few 39-year-old athletes can perform at the level which Venus does. Sure, the level which propelled her to World #1, to win seven Grand Slams is long gone. But, the elder Williams sister has adjusted her game to allow her to remain competitive as evidenced by her quarterfinal runs in Cincinnati, Birmingham, Indian Wells, and Auckland. Yet, that’s the deepest run Williams has reached in 2019. There were no semifinal bouts, no title challenges. However, it was the game’s elite who usually bounced Venus. I don’t think Rebecca Peterson will have enough weapons to be the player to exit Venus in Tianjin.
Prediction: Williams in 2

Embed from Getty Images

Astra Sharma vs Yulia Putintseva

Head to head: First meeting

Yulia Putintseva has some interesting stats. According to WTA stats, the Kazakh holds the number three spot for most tiebreaks won. Goes to show the mental toughness which the World #37 brings to the court. In fact, Putintseva battled through this year’s third longest match (3h 22m) to bring her Nurnberg win against Anna-Lena Friedsam in the quarterfinals. There’s no doubt Putintseva is looking for a deep run in Tianjin and will view Astra Sharma as her first obstacle. And, there’s nothing in the Sharma game which should prove insurmountable for Putintseva’s first round win.
Prediction: Putintseva in 2

Embed from Getty Images

Caroline Garcia vs Anastasia Potapova

Head to head: First meeting

The Asian swing hasn’t been favorable for Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia. A two win, three loss record in September doesn’t bode well for the Tianjin defending champion. It’s been a dismal 2019 for Garcia. However, the World #31 lifted the trophy in Nottingham and reached the final in Strasbourg. It’s difficult to pinpoint the lack of success for a player who wins 73% of her service games and converts 43.5% of her break point opportunities. Just a year ago, Garcia held the World #4 spot. It’s been a disappointing hard court season for Garcia, with a 7-14 win-loss record on this surface.

Anastasia Potapova will need to knock out the defending champion if she hopes to move on in Tianjin. While the Russian teen has a much better hard court record than does Garcia (12-12), the lack of experience may prove her downfall. While Potapova can come out on top in lengthy rallies, Garcia has the ability to end the point on her terms. I see the defending champ moving on and continuing her title defense.
Prediction: Garcia in 3

Main Photo from Getty.