WTA Strasbourg International Day 2 Predictions Including Polona Hercog vs Alize Cornet

Katerina Siniakova in action ahead of the WTA Strasbourg International

Roland Garros is looming large on the horizon, but before attention turns to Paris there is a week of tennis to play, with action in Hamburg and at the WTA Strasbourg International. There should be plenty of entertaining action on day two in Strasbourg and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for all eleven matches on the slate including Sloane Stephens vs Nao Hibino and Magda Linette vs Pauline Parmentier. But who will book their place in the second round in France?

WTA Strasbourg International Day Two Predictions

Polona Hercog vs Alize Cornet

Head-to-head: Cornet 4-1 Hercog

Polona Hercog has exclusively played on  clay since the restart, compiling a 4-4 record. That may not look particularly impressive on paper, but she has claimed some big wins, not least in beating Kiki Bertens at the Italian Open. She came close to backing that up in the third round against 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova, but fell just short in a third-set tiebreak. Nonetheless, with her big forehand and slice backhand working well, she could be set for a good week in Strasbourg.

But she faces a tough first-round test up against Alize Cornet, who has been in impressive form lately. The Frenchwoman went 5-2 during the abbreviated North American summer, highlighted by a run to the fourth round at the US Open. She hasn’t played on clay since last season, which could give Hercog an advantage, but Cornet does generally play well on this surface and has dominated their head-to-head, even if one of her wins came via retirement after just one game. Expect her to edge a close one.

Prediction: Cornet in 3
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Greet Minnen vs Elena Rybakina

Head-to-head: Rybakina 1-0 Minnen

Greet Minnen qualified for Strasbourg with a comfortable victory over Michaela Bayerlova, but that win should not distract overmuch from her struggles since the restart. The Belgian has won just one of her six matches since the season resumed in August and last week lost to Daria Gavrilova, who had been absent through injury for quite some time. But in Elena Rybakina she faces a player who has also been in poor form lately, with the Kazakh unable to maintain her early season form.

But she did show some promise in Rome, reaching the third round courtesy of straight-sets wins over Ekaterina Alexandrova, who had beaten her twice earlier in the year, and Marie Bouzkova. She also won this pair’s only previous meeting, which came in the second round at the Australian Open in January, for the loss of only seven games. She had too much power for Minnen in that match and should be able to hit through the Belgian again at the WTA Strasbourg International.

Prediction: Rybakina in 2
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Ellen Perez vs Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: first meeting

Ellen Perez qualified for the WTA Strasbourg International with a comfortable win over Diane Parry, continuing a solid run of clay-court form for the Australian, who also qualified for the main draw at the Istanbul Cup. It should, however, be noted that Perez has never beaten a player of Aryna Sabalenka’s stature, with the Belarusian ranked 12th in the world and seeded fourth in Strasbourg. But Sabalenka has been rather erratic of late, going 3-3 since the restart.

This will also be her first clay-court match of the season after she elected not to play at the Italian Open last week. Whether that will have a detrimental impact remains to be seen, with Sabalenka’s powerful game generally unaffected by changes in surface. And, in truth, although she continues to struggle for consistency, she is a much better player than Perez, who has never been ranked inside the top 100. Expect her to overpower the Australian to reach the second round.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
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Katerina Siniakova vs Bernarda Pera

Head-to-head: Siniakova 3-0 Pera

Katerina Siniakova has had a rough time since the restart, winning just one of the five matches she has played since the season resumed in August. But the Czech, who last year reached the second week at the French Open, is at her best on clay and showed some signs of life last week in Rome, where she beat Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-3 in the first round. She wasn’t able to back that performance up, losing in straight-sets to Daria Kasatkina in the last 32.

But she may still feel confident heading into this match. Bernarda Pera’s form has been indifferent in recent weeks, with the American compiling a 2-4 record. Her lefty game can be tricky for opponents to handle, but Siniakova has had the better of their rivalry, winning all three of their previous contests and losing just one set in the process. Expect Siniakova, who has the better clay-court record, to outlast Pera in the longer rallies and claim a three-set win.

Prediction: Siniakova in 3

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