We’re into the second round of the 2020 WTA Istanbul Cup. Some players coming back from the States managed to smoothly adapt to the change of surface. Will they be able to fend off the players who stayed in Europe and got more clay court practice? We also have predictions for matches featuring Caroline Garcia and Polona Hercog.
WTA Istanbul Thursday Predictions
Danka Kovinic – Alison van Uytvanck
Head-to-head: First meeting
It was a decent US Open run for Danka Kovinic, who managed to take Magda Linette to a third set tie-break, playing better than the seeded Pole in the latter parts of the match. Alison van Uytvanck was yet to win a single match after the restart before this week, as she finally managed to get one against Viktoria Kuzmova. Kovinic managed to grab a solid win too, defeating Kateryna Bondarenko in straight sets. The Montenegro-native has been playing better tennis recently and should feel good about her chances to edge this tight game. Expect a close one.
Prediction: Kovinic in 3
Paula Badosa Gibert vs Sara Sorribes Tormo
Head-to-head: Sorribes Tormo 2-1
Both players came back from the States, but Paula Badosa Gibert finished her US Open campaign five days earlier. This advantage in clay court practice might be very important this early after the restart. She also got a full match in against Katarina Zavatska, although is a very quick and decisive victory. Sara Sorribes Tormo, meanwhile, played just five games against Heather Watson before the Brit was forced to retire. While they both feel very good on clay, they never faced each other on the surface before. With no past reference to how their games will match up on the dirt, getting more preparation should be a big asset for Badosa.
Prediction: Badosa Gibert in 3
Misaki Doi – Patricia Maria Tig
Head-to-head: First meeting
Another meeting between two players that lost early enough at the US Open to come back in time for Istanbul. Misaki Doi took a set off Naomi Osaka, who’s still in the tournament and currently in the semifinals. Patricia Maria Tig lost to Donna Vekic in the second round. Tig was quicker to adapt to clay in her first-round match, defeating Olga Danilovic in straight sets. Doi lost an opener to Ellen Perez but recovered just in time to take the win. Tig’s game is better suited to clay and she’s been playing more on that surface recently. Her transition went really smoothly and she should be able to get the win here.
Prediction: Tig in 3
Svetlana Kuznetsova – Eugenie Bouchard
Head-to-head: Kuznetsova 3-0
It’s been a long time since you could realistically expect anything from Eugenie Bouchard. The Canadian is only a shadow of his 2014 self, back when she reached three Grand Slam semifinals and finished runner-up at Wimbledon. However, her form has been pretty solid this week. Bouchard had to go through the qualifying draw as has already picked up three straight-set wins. For Svetlana Kuznetsova, this will be a first match since February. The Russian veteran used to be extremely good on clay though (former Roland Garros champion, 11 years ago) and leads Bouchard 2-0 on the dirt. While she will surely feel the rest, her early 2020 disposition suggested she is still not ready to say goodbye to tennis. Expect her to play herself into form in time.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 3
Main Photo from Getty.
Thoughts on our WTA Istanbul predictions? As always, feel free to share them in the comments.