After managing to complete eleven singles matches Tuesday, the organizers at the WTA Prague Open have only scheduled three for Wednesday. Maybe their printers were struggling for ink or toner.
The high seeds have made it through so far, though Simona Halep took seven match points to see off Polona Hercog. The matches may be small in number but they look high in quality as the second and third seeds look to reach the quarterfinals.
WTA Prague Open Day 3 Predictions
Lesia Tsurenko vs Ana Bogdan
Head-to-Head Record: Tsurenko 1-0 Bogdan
Tsurenko made it four wins in a row in Prague by swatting aside seventh seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round. Tsurenko has been the outsider in three of her four matches so she can be very pleased with her efforts so far.
Ana Bogdan received a piece of good fortune as Dayana Yastremska withdrew and Storm Sanders took her place. The Australian had just suffered a humiliating double bagel loss in qualifying to Marta Kostyuk and fared little better against Bogdan, winning only two games. Bogdan hasn’t been in the best of form so undoubtedly that match will have restored some confidence in the Hungarian.
The Ukrainian’s clay-court game is built around her return game. There is very little difference in her win percentage whether serving or returning. Bogdan can expect a lot of pressure from Tsurenko on her service game and recently Bogdan hasn’t stood up well to this. That was certainly the case in their previous meeting that Tsurenko won comfortably. Expect the Ukrainian to follow suit tomorrow and win again.
Prediction: Tsurenko in 2
Camila Giorgi vs Elise Mertens
Head-to-Head Record: Mertens 1-0 Giorgi
Giorgi had to come from behind twice to defeat talented teenager Marta Kostyuk in the first round. A spirited tie-break at the end of the third set meant that the Italian has now won four matches from five since the WTA returned.
Mertens defeated Jasmine Paolini in three sets in round one but it was a real struggle. Mertens was able to save five break points in the deciding set and won every breakpoint on the Paolini serve. This type of big point performance cannot be maintained long term.
Giorgi’s backhand crosscourt against Kostyuk was a great weapon and if she can cut out some of the unforced errors then the third seed is there for the taking. Mertens has been having a tough time on clay on the WTA tour and Giorgi should be in the form to capitalize.
Prediction: Giorgi in 3
Kristyna Pliskova vs Petra Martic
Head-to-Head Record: Martic 1-0 Pliskova
Pliskova had her concerns against the young wildcard Linda Fruhvirtova but came through in straight sets. It was a case of when the first serve went in the game was easy for the tall Pliskova, who won over 75% of the points on her first delivery. She also won eight out of nine break points against the youngster which obviously helped deliver the victory.
Martic, on the other hand, had major first serve problems. She failed to get over half of her first serves in but, unusually, the Croatian was able to win 60% of her second serve points to grind out a win over Varvara Gracheva. Combining this with her semifinal run last week and Martic is in some good form ahead of this clash.
Martic is favored to win this match as a result of her all-round game and consistency. Pliskova definitely has the tools to trouble the Croatian but there are also gaping holes that can be exploited by a player as intelligent and capable as Martic. Expect the top 20 player to win in straight sets.
Prediction: Martic in 2
Main Photo from Getty.