WTA Houston Challenger Day 2 Predictions – Including CoCo Vandeweghe vs Linda Huang

The Oracle Challenger Series sees heavy competition between rising stars and veteran players–each in their quest for the coveted spot in the Premier Mandatory BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Receiving wildcards in Houston are CoCo Vandeweghe, Danielle Collins, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, University of Georgia junior Katarina Jokic and Rice University’s Linda Huang.

It’s a competitive field looking for first round wins, as the stiffest competition waits in the second round. Whitney Osuigwe, Catherine Mcnally, Stefanie Voegele, Francesca di Lorenzo and Danielle Collins are just five of the seeded players receiving first round byes.

Here’s a look at opening round matches and predictions for who’ll secure a second round spot.

WTA Houston Challenger Day 2 Predictions

Katarina Jokic vs Mayo Hibi

Head to head: First meeting

Katarina Jokic is slated to open her Houston Challenger campaign against veteran Mayo Hibi. The 21-year-old Georgia Bulldog won the Oracle ITA National Fall Championship last year, giving her a wildcard into the 2019 Houston Challenger. Jokic is 5-1 in collegiate tournaments in 2019 and 6-3 in qualifying and main draw WTA/ITF events. The Serbian should feel confident about her opening round against  Mayo Hibi.

The 23-year-old Hibi turned pro in 2013. Accumulating seven singles title on the ITF circuit, the Japanese has advanced to the Henderson Tennis Open semifinals, enjoying a deep run in Las Vegas. Perhaps this momentum will carry through to her opening round clash with Jokic.

While Hibi has more experience in bigger tournaments, I expect Jokic is poised to improve her 6-3 record and should have enough to see her way into the second round.
Prediction: Jokic in 2

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Valentini Grammatikopoulou vs Eugenie Bouchard

Head to head: First meeting

Once a rising star ranked World No. 5, Eugenie Bouchard has struggled since her US Open locker room injury. Now sitting at world no. 224, the Canadian is hoping to reclaim the form which propelled her to the upper echelons of the WTA. Yet, it seems just when Bouchard starts picking up momentum, she suffers a startling defeat to players which she is most capable of beating. Against Greece’s Valentini Grammatikopoulou, Bouchard should have a straight sets win. But nothing seems to come that easy to the Canadian and I see her struggling through a narrow win.
Prediction: Bouchard in 3

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Danielle Lao vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Head to head: First meeting

An All American clash sees veteran Danielle Lao taking on doubles superstar Bethanie Mattek-Sands. After a near career ending injury, Mattek-Sands has shown amazing grit and determination. While Mattek-Sands will never find the success in singles which she’s achieved on the doubles courts, she remains a threat as evidenced by her July 2019 win over Venus Williams in San Jose. Thereafter, Mattek-Sands failed to make it through qualifying rounds at other events, after her San Jose success. Expect Mattek-Sands to have a strong start against Lao to gain a spot in the second round. But don’t expect too deep of a run.
Prediction: Mattek-Sands in 2

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CoCo Vandeweghe vs Linda Huang

Head to head: First meeting

Rice University’s Linda Huang makes her ITF debut against former world no. 10 Coco Vandeweghe. A doubles standout at Rice, Huang received a Wild Card into the Houston Challenger. It will not be an easy match for the 20-year-old Junior against the veteran American. Vandeweghe has had an injury plagued year, and the serve is nowhere near it’s best. Yet, the experienced Vandeweghe should have an easy day at the office against Huang.
Prediction: Vandeweghe in 2

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Disagree with our WTA Houston Challenger Day 2 Predictions? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.