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. There are previews and predictions for the matches held over from yesterday on the website.
Today marks the return to action of current Wimbledon and former French Open champion, Simona Halep. There are also thirteen other singles matches due to be played on what is sure to be a busy day on the clay of Prague. We predict the rest of them, as well.
WTA Prague Open Day 2 Predictions
Patricia Maria Tig vs Barbora Krejickova
Head-to-Head Record: Tig 1-1 Krejickova
All signs point to the Romanian in this matchup. Tig has much better pedigree on the WTA Tour on clay than her Czech opponent. Tig has won a whopping 79% of her matches on the red dirt in the last two years on clay, and has excellent on-court movement that facilitates her good play on the surface.
Krejickova, by contrast, boasts a 2-2 record in the main draw of clay events over the same period. Tig is also ranked higher than the Czech (#84 v #115) and won their previous clay-court meeting. Krejickova has had real mixed results in exhibition tennis recently. She defeated Karolina Muchova and Katerina Siniakova on clay, but in her last match she lost to the world number #792 Miriam Kolodziejova.
Expect the 26-year-old Romanian to progress to use her greater clay-court skill to wear down the Czech during the match. Krejickova has real trouble holding onto her service games on the slow surface and Tig should exploit this. Expect her to win in straight sets.
Prediction: Tig in 2
Sara Sorribes Tormo vs Barbora Strycova
No previous meetings
The Spaniard, unsurprisingly, has a very good clay-court record. She has played a lot of tennis on the dirt during the break as well, winning a lot of matches in the Spanish national exhibition events on clay. However, she has never played in this particular tournament before and is playing an opponent who is more than familiar with the Prague Open.
Strycova first played this tournament in 2005(!) and it is surprising that she hasn’t yet managed to win the title here. The 34-year-old reached the semifinal stage last year, and also in 2017, so she does have recent form at the event. Strycova is potentially one player who may have benefitted from the break from tennis as her form prior to that was very poor indeed.
Sorribes Tormo has actually lost four in a row at WTA International level and her weak serve should be open to attack. Unfortunately for Strycova the weakest part of her game on clay is her ability to break serve. However, this will probably be a match of many breaks and the Czech’s greater tendency to hold serve could be the decisive factor here.
Prediction: Strycova in 3
Aliona Bolsova vs Fiona Ferro
No previous meetings
Bolsova was the last direct entrant into the main draw for this and will find herself up against it straight away. The Spaniard lost an exhibition on clay against #334 Amanda Carreras and then failed to qualify for the Palermo main draw last week. The fact that she now faces the player who won that tournament shows the level of the task ahead of her.
Ferro played some superb tennis to win the first WTA title back after the break in Palermo last week. The Frenchwoman’s forehand delivered countless blows to her opponents all week and her return game was really on song. The fatigue factor may come into play at some stage in Prague, but pure confidence and adrenaline should allow her to start well.
The returns and forehand of Ferro should be more than good enough to see her through this match. Bolsova doesn’t appear to have been in the strongest form before tennis returned and didn’t show much last week either. Expect Ferro to progress in straight sets here.
Prediction: Ferro in 2
Simona Halep vs Polona Hercog
Head-to-Head Record: Halep 2-1 Hercog
The darling of Romanian tennis returns to the WTA Tour. Halep was last seen lifting the trophy in Dubai after a pulsating final against Elena Rybakina. She has been relatively quiet though through lockdown so it is difficult to know her level of preparation. Certainly, Hercog is an opponent that has given her difficulties in previous match ups with the Slovakian never failing to win at least a set off the world #2.
However, the tall world #45 is not in the greatest form. She has won only one main draw match in 2020, against Rebecca Peterson in the Australian Open. Clay is usually a good surface for Hercog having won WTA Lugano on the red dirt this time last year. None of the the previous meetings between this pair was on clay, but both should raise their game on the surface.
Hercog lost to world #157 Elisabetta Cocciaretto in Palermo last week so it is difficult to see enough of an improvement to trouble Halep here. If the Slovakian wins a set she will do well. Halep will have too much guile, penetration and speed of movement for Hercog and should win on straight sets.
Prediction: Halep in 2
Main Photo from Getty.
Disagree with our WTA Prague Open Day 2 Predictions? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.