WTA Palermo Ladies Open Day 2 Predictions Including Marketa Vondrousova vs Kaja Juvan

Liudmila Samsova in action at the WTA Palermo Ladies Open

The return of professional tennis continues on day two at the WTA Palermo Ladies Open, where a number of star names are set to take to the court in first-round action. Amongst those in action are top seed Petra Martic, who takes on Alison Van Uytvanck, and home hope Camila Giorgi, who faces Rebecca Peterson. But who will book their place in the second round in Sicily?

WTA Palermo Ladies Open Day 2 Predictions

Marketa Vondrousova vs Kaja Juvan

Head-to-head: first meeting

After a dream run at the 2019 French Open, where she reached the final, Marketa Vondrousova has struggled with both fitness and form. But there is no doubt that the Czech remains a prodigious talent. Kaja Juvan, meanwhile, also looks to have a bright future ahead of her. The Slovenian, who won the junior Wimbledon title in 2017, is surely set to break into the top 100 sooner rather than later and will be targeting a big win here.

She may well have a chance to pull off just that. Having battled through the qualifying with wins over Magdalena Frech, Elena-Gabriela Ruse and Martina Trevisan, she should be match sharp, which could give her a real advantage over Vondrousova. But the Czech proved herself to be a skilled clay-court operator at Roland Garros last season. She may take awhile to hit her straps, but expect her greater quality and comfort on the clay to give her a decisive edge.

Prediction: Vondrousova in 3
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Tamara Zidansek vs Oceane Dodin

Head-to-head: first meeting

Oceane Dodin’s return to life on the WTA Tour did not quite go to plan. The Frenchwoman, who was seeded fourth in qualifying, made relatively comfortable progress through the first two rounds, picking up wins over Federica Bilardo and Yanina Wickmayer. But in the final round of qualifying, she fell just short against Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska, despite winning the first set. But following a withdrawal, Dodin was handed a place in the main draw as a lucky loser after Paula Badosa withdrew.

There, she will face Tamara Zidansek in the first round. The Slovenian had been struggling in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic saw the season suspended, but may have been able to use the enforced break as a chance to recharge her batteries. However, in a match which looks almost certain to be close, expect Dodin to have the edge. She should be able to play freely after her reprieve as a lucky loser and should be comparatively sharp after playing three qualifying matches.

Prediction: Dodin in 3
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Elise Mertens vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Head-to-head: Sasnovich 2-1 Mertens

Elise Mertens hasn’t quite kicked on since reaching the Australian Open semifinals in 2018, but the Belgian has nonetheless established herself as a solid presence in the WTA’s top 30 and last season reached the quarterfinals at the US Open. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, meanwhile, remains frustratingly inconsistent. She is certainly not a player who should be ranked outside the top 100. That said, she did play some fine tennis to come through the qualifying.

She opened her campaign with a 7-5 6-2 win over Anastasiya Komardina, before Tereza Martincova retired after losing the first set 3-6. Sasnovich then secured her place in the main draw by edging past the Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena. She has also beaten Mertens in two of their three previous meetings, although it was Mertens who claimed victory when they last met. And if Mertens can play her best, or something close to it, expect her to be just too strong for Sasnovich again.

Prediction: Mertens in 3
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Liudmila Samsonova vs Kirsten Flipkens

Head-to-head: Flipkens 2-0 Samsonova

2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens may no longer be the force she once was, but the crafty Belgian remains a difficult opponent to face. That has evidently been the case for Liudmila Samsonova, who has lost both of her previous meetings with Flipkens without winning a set. But she may well enjoy more success in Palermo. The clay courts in Sicily should prove better suited to her hard-hitting baseline game than Flipkens all-court style, nor should it be forgotten that Samsonova has enjoyed success in Palermo before, last year reaching the semifinals.

Prediction: Samsonova in 2

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