Rain interrupted play on the first day of main draw action at the WTA Prague Open. This means that there is a bumper schedule to play on Day 2. We also have previews and predictions for the matches held over.
This article will look at four main draw singles matches. There is another article with the other four.
WTA Prague Open Day 2 Predictions
Arantxa Rus vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Head-to-Head Record: Pavlyuchenkova 1-0 Rus
The Russian comes into her first event back on the WTA having been victorious in the new Ultimate Tennis Showdown series. This may give her some confidence to feel as though her game is in good shape. However, clay has not always been Pavlyuchenkova’s friend and she seems to have made a career of combining highs with disappointing early defeats.
This means that she is vulnerable here and Arantxa Rus may have a chance to take advantage of that. Both players have really poor clay court records over the last couple of years, but Rus narrowly edges those records. Pavlyuchenkova has in fact won only one set across five clay-court matches in two years.
This will not be a high-quality match-up and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this went all the way. Pavlyuchenkova may see this restart as a new (possibly last?) chance to fulfill her talent and there can be little doubt that the match will be decided on her racket. If the Russian retains her accuracy for long enough then she will win the match and judging by her form at the UTS event she must be backed to do so.
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 3
Tamara Zidansek vs Katerina Siniakova
Head-to-Head Record: Zidansek 1-1 Siniakova
The Slovenian #1 returned to competitive tennis with something of a whimper in Palermo. Oceane Dodin emerged triumphant from their first-round encounter and Zidansek looked very rusty in that match. Her performance is likely to have improved as a result of that match though.
Siniakova, like many Czech players, has been busy playing exhibitions against fellow Czech players. These have been taking part on clay in Czechia so she should be familiar with conditions. This is an event that Siniakova has played every year since 2015 and she has never failed to win her first-round match in Prague.
SIniakova must have the advantage in this match. Her record at the tournament is very good and she comes in with more confidence than the Slovenian. Both women actually hold very similar statistics on clay; both are quite strong on return but struggle to hold serve effectively. Siniakova’s extra energy and movement around the court could prove decisive here in this match.
Prediction: Siniakova in 2
Anastasija Sevastova vs Irina-Camelia Begu
Head-to-Head Record: Sevastova 3-2 Begu
As a result of the withdrawal of Dayana Yastremska, Sevastova has assumed the Ukrainian’s position in the draw and will now be the one to play Begu. The Latvian will be hoping that she has been able to the break from tennis to improve her form on the court. She is currently in danger of dropping outside the world’s top 50, something that Sevastova hasn’t experienced since 2015.
Begu would’ve felt the opposite way to her opponent though having won two tournaments just before the break. The Romanian was slow into stride against Laura Siegemund in Palermo last week being defeated in straight sets. This came after an inconsistent performance in the Romanian exhibition tournament in early June.
There is a substantial difference in height between these two players, but surprisingly it is the shorter of the two, Sevastova, who has by far the better record for service games won on clay. If Begu isn’t able to rely on her first delivery then it will be a struggle as her second is very weak and attackable. This is what Sevastova will need to do to get on top of the Romanian and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this happen more as the match progresses. Look out for a tough battle here but with the Latvian emerging victorious.
Prediction: Sevastova in 3
Varvara Gracheva vs Petra Martic
No previous meetings
The Russian had a golden spell in the fall of 2019 where she won 14 matches in a row. This meant she won back-to-back clay-court tournaments, albeit at the ITF level. This goes some way to explain her jump up the rankings to just outside the top 100. Gracheva also has a positive record on clay in WTA matches, so this will be no pushover for Martic.
The Croatian had a satisfactory return to tennis last week in Palermo. Despite being seeded #1 in that tournament, she would have been satisfied with a run to the semifinals to get back into match fitness. A deep run at this tournament will now be the aspiration for the #2 seed.
Martic’s ability to dictate rallies from the baseline, especially on clay, will give her the advantage here. Gracheva is capable of an upset but Martic should be ready for the challenge and will look to dominate the Russian from the first serve.
Prediction: Martic in 2
Main Photo from Getty.
Disagree with our WTA Prague Open Day 2 Predictions? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.