All first-round matches have been completed at the 2020 WTA Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky. Serena Williams will face her sister in a blockbuster clash on Thursday, but before we see that, Wednesday will feature four other second-round games. The clear highlight of the day seems to be the 2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka taking on 16-year-old prodigy Cori Gauff. Who do you have to find a way to advance?
WTA Lexington Day 3 Predictions
Ons Jabeur vs Olga Govortsova
The Tunisian was quite clearly playing the best tennis of her life just before the pandemic, highlighted by her Australian Open quarterfinal run. We haven’t seen much of Jabeur after the break, but she appeared solid enough in a first-round win over Caty McNally. Olga Govortsova has qualified for the event and has already spent about four and a half hours on the courts in Lexington. Most of the tennis the Belarusian has played here was great and with everyone still rather undercooked and rusty, having more hours in the legs might actually be an advantage and be enough to make this unlikely upset.
Prediction: Govortsova in 3
Marie Bouzkova vs Anna Blinkova
Head-to-head: Blinkova 1-0
In September last year, it was Blinkova who easily took care of her Lexington 2nd round opponent. However, it seems like Bouzkova is not the player she was back then anymore. The Czech was a revelation of the last tournament before the pandemic in Monterrey, and she proved it wasn’t a fluke with a solid win over Johanna Konta in the first round (although Konta struggled with some sort of breathing issues). This should be yet another sign of how much progress Bouzkova has made over the past 12 months.
Prediction: Bouzkova in 2
Magda Linette vs Jennifer Brady
Head-to-head: Brady 2-1
After some relatively weak performances in exhibition events, Magda Linette dealt way easier than expected with Lauren Davis in her opening game. Meanwhile, Jennifer Brady seems to have caught a very rich vein of form. The American was great in the latter stages of the WorldTourTennis exhibition and impressed in her barely over an hour dismissal of Heather Watson on Tuesday. Brady fired ten aces in her first round and appears to be running very high on confidence right now. This might be a low-key highlight of the round but we’ll give the slight edge to Brady.
Prediction: Brady in 3
Aryna Sabalenka vs Cori Gauff
Head-to-head: First meeting
Both ladies’ first-round performances left quite a lot to be desired. Sabalenka had some periods of extremely weak play and failed to serve out the match, which forced her to go to the decider. Gauff meanwhile didn’t look too convincing in her hard-fought straight-set win over Caroline Dolehide. The youngster, despite her relative inexperience, performs admirably under pressure and seems to rarely lose her concentration. Still, surviving Sabalenka’s power might be too big of an ask for the 16-year-old Gauff.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 3
Main Photo from Getty.