WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy Day 1 Predictions Including Maria Sakkari vs Vitalia Diatchenko

Maria Sakkari at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy

After a thrilling weekend of Fed Cup action, the WTA’s stars are set to return to regular tour action at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in Russia’s second city. There are a number of intriguing matches on the slate on day one in St Petersburg, but who will book their place in the second round and who will fall to defeat?

St Petersburg Ladies Trophy Day One Predictions

Elena Rybakina vs Katerina Siniakova

Head-to-head: Siniakova 2-1 Rybakina

Elena Rybakina made a great start to her year, reaching the final in Shenzhen before winning the Hobart International. But she proved unable to parlay that success into a deep run at the Australian Open, where she was comprehensively beaten in the third round by world #1 Ashleigh Barty. And the Kazakh now faces a difficult first-round test up against Katerina Siniakova at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, with the Czech having won two of their three previous meetings.

That said, Siniakova’s most recent win, which came in Guangzhou late last season, did come via retirement and she has looked far from her best so far in 2020. Indeed, Siniakova has not yet won a match in singles this season, losing in straight-sets in the first round in both Shenzhen and Melbourne. Rybakina has the power and the accuracy to keep Siniakova moving and should she play with the same confidence she has displayed for the majority of this season, she should prove too strong.

Prediction: Rybakina in 2
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Anastasia Potapova vs Ludmilla Samsonova

Head-to-head: Samsonova 1-0 Potapova

Anastasia Potapova has made a rather indifferent start to the season, with the nadir the 0-6 3-6 hammering she took at the hands of Serena Williams at Melbourne Park, but it is worth remembering that the Russian is still just 18. And she did impress in coming through the qualifying in St Petersburg, beating Martina Di Giuseppe of Italy and France’s Pauline Parmentier without dropping a set to reach the main draw.

Ludmilla Samsonova also had to come through the qualifying, repeating the feat she achieved at the Australian Open by beating her compatriot Ekaterina Shalimova and the Hungarian Timea Babos. She also beat Potapova in their only previous meeting, which came two years ago on the clay in Caserta. That match went the distance and it looks likely that there will be little between the pair once again. But although Samsonova possesses a useful forehand, Potapova has that much more power and variety than her opponent and that should prove the difference.

Prediction: Potapova in 3
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Maria Sakkari vs Vitalia Diatchenko

Head-to-head: Sakkari 2-0 Diatchenko

Maria Sakkari established herself as one of the most consistent performers on the WTA Tour last season and she has continued in that vein at the start of 2020. Vitalia Diatchenko, in contrast, is dangerous on her day, but lacks the staying power of the very best in the sport. She did play well to come through the qualifying at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, but Sakkari marks a real step up in the quality of her opposition. Indeed, Diatchenko has lost both of her previous meetings with Sakkari, including earlier this season in Adelaide. It is hard to see a different outcome in St Petersburg.

Prediction: Sakkari in 2

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