After meeting in nine Grand Slam finals, the Williams sisters will face each other yet again on Day 4 of the 2020 WTA Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky. Serena leads the head-to-head between the two and is once again considered the favorite for this meeting. Who do you think will emerge victorious in that and the other second-round clashes planned for Thursday?
WTA Lexington Day 4
Yulia Putintseva vs Jil Teichmann
Head-to-head: First meeting
Only some trouble serving it out allowed Ajla Tomljanovic to win a respectable number of games in the second set against Yulia Putintseva. The Kazakh is a disaster to face when you’re not feeling your game. Her grit and determination combined with great counter-punching can punish any weaknesses in one’s attacking game. Teichmann appeared to be in a decent match rhythm against Anna Kalinskaya, getting a rather comprehensive victory.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Catherine Bellis vs Jessica Pegula
Head-to-head: Pegula 1-0
Originally set up for an exciting clash against Amanda Anisimova, Bellis took advantage of her withdrawal to swiftly take care of lucky loser Francesca Di Lorenzo. Pegula, meanwhile, struggled a little more than expected to take down the veteran Vera Zvonareva. The pair met in early January this year with Pegula coming out as the victor in a dominant 6-0 6-4 fashion. It wouldn’t be wise to pick against her given the manner of that victory. On top of that, Pegula has also shined very recently in exhibition tennis, amassing a 9-1 win/loss record during the WorldTeamTennis exhibition.
Prediction: Pegula in 3
Leylah Annie Fernandez vs Shelby Rogers
Head-to-head: First meeting
The 2019 Roland Garros Juniors champion Fernandez had a significant main tour breakthrough back in February. The pandemic stopped in her tracks but with the clean victory over Sloane Stephens in the first round, she appears to be ready to get back on the path to glory. Fernandez qualified for the event in good style as well and shows little of the inconsistency and mental weaknesses that tennis playing teenagers are often associated with. Shelby Rogers has game and definitely can make her work for it, but Fernandez’s confidence level appears to be off the charts at this point.
Prediction: Fernandez in 3
Serena Williams vs Venus Williams
Head-to-head: Serena 18-12
They once met in six out of eight consecutive Grand Slam finals, with younger sister Serena winning five of them. That’s what hasn’t really changed even as they’re both getting older (Venus turned 40 in July): Serena has the edge. Venus won just one of their five previous meetings, taking advantage of her sister being just at the beginning of a comeback after becoming a mother. Venus came up with a slightly cleaner first-round win over Victoria Azarenka but she’s much weaker physically than her 21-months-younger sister. Serena had issues shaking off the rust against Bernarda Pera, but when she gets going there’s still almost no one on the tour that can stop her.
Prediction: Serena in 2
Main Photo from Getty.