WTA Strasbourg International Day 2 Predictions Including Lauren Davis vs Jelena Ostapenko

Sloane Stephens in action ahead of the WTA Strasbourg International

There should be no shortage of good tennis at the WTA Strasbourg International with every player in the field surely desperate to gather some momentum ahead of the French Open, which begins next week. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for all eleven matches on the slate including Aryna Sabalenka vs Ellen Perez and Magda Linette vs Pauline Parmentier. But who will book their place in the second round in France?

WTA Strasbourg International Day Two Predictions

Zarina Diyas vs Christina McHale

Head-to-head: McHale 2-1 Diyas

Zarina Diyas has struggled since the season resumed, having failed to win any of her four matches, with her most recent outing ending in a three-set defeat to Anna Kalinskaya in the first round of qualifying at the Italian Open in Rome. Christina McHale, meanwhile, snapped a three-match losing streak with a 6-4 6-1 win over France’s Myrtille Georges to secure her place in the main draw at the WTA Strasbourg International.

And this looks like a more than winnable match for the American. Both of her victories over Diyas came on this surface, although one did come via retirement with McHale a set up a break up. Ultimately, it is hard to put much faith in Diyas’ game on the clay, with the Kazakh’s aggressive approach rarely paying dividends on the ‘terre battue’. McHale’s sturdy baseline game, in contrast, has served her well on this surface in the past. Expect her to advance.

Prediction: McHale in 2
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Lauren Davis vs Jelena Ostapenko

Head-to-head: Davis 1-0 Ostapenko

Lauren Davis is another player still searching for her first win since the season resumed, having suffered first-round exits in Lexington and New York, as well as in the first round of qualifying at the Western and Southern Open and at the Italian Open. In fact, she has won just one set in those four defeats, with Davis mustering just five games in her most recent defeat, which came at the hands of Kaja Juvan in Rome. But Jelena Ostapenko was scarcely more impressive in the Italian capital.

Playing her first match since February, Ostapenko lost 4-6 3-6 to Magda Linette, hitting 15 double faults in a rusty performance. The Latvian also lost her only previous meeting with Davis, which came in 2017 at the Auckland Open, albeit by retirement after just five games. Unfortunately, there is little to suggest that this will be a match high on quality, with both women in less than impressive form. But it should be closely contested.

Ostapenko will almost certainly be the player dictating, with the match likely to be decided by her ratio of winners to unforced errors. That is not entirely encouraging for the Latvian after her performance against Linette. But the Pole is a more formidable opponent than Davis and Ostapenko, with that match under her belt, should be able to deliver a more controlled performance. If she does, expect her to have too much power and depth for Davis in the end.

Prediction: Ostapenko in 3
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Nao Hibino vs Sloane Stephens

Head-to-head: first meeting

As if to complete a theme, Hibino has also gone 0-4 since the season resumed in August. The Japanese has suffered some tough losses in that defeat, including a humbling defeat to world #811 Melania Delai in the first round of qualifying at the Italian Open last week. That inspires little confidence in the Japanese’s chances at the WTA Strasbourg International, even if her first-round opponent Sloane Stephens is in the midst of a prolonged slump herself.

The American, whose 2017 triumph at the US Open feels longer than three years ago now, lost her first four matches of the season, before belatedly getting off the mark at the Monterrey Open, and her struggles have, for the most part, continued since. She did show flashes of her best tennis in reaching the third round at the US Open, but was well-beaten in the first round in Rome by Garbine Muguruza in her first match of the European clay-court swing.

She does have a wealth of experience to call upon, however, and it should not be overlooked that she reached the French Open final in 2018. Hibino, in contrast, has never enjoyed much success on the clay and has never been beyond the first round at the French Open or even appeared in the main draw in Madrid or Rome. Expect Stephens, who has at least shown some signs of progress, to prove too strong for the Japanese.

Prediction: Stephens in 2

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