Three seeds – Elina Svitolina, Petra Martic, and Anett Kontaveit – fell on day three of the Ostrava Open. Day four promises more scintillating match ups and even more big names in peril.
WTA Ostrava Open Day 4 Predictions Including Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka
Jelena Ostapenko vs Ons Jabeur
Head to head: 1-0 Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko looked like a world beater before crashing out of the French Open. Her comfortable dismantling of Petra Martic in Ostrava felt like an echo of her victories over Madison Brengle and Karolina Pliskova. Ostapenko dropped only four games to the number five seed and in the next round faces Ons Jabeur whom she defeated in their only previous meeting. Jabeur may be fresh off of her history-making quarterfinal at the French, but she’ll be no match for Ostapenko if the Latvian is anywhere near her best. Jabeur’s mercurial style could disrupt Ostapenko’s rhythm on her big shots, but Ostapenko has matched her natural aggression to control so well recently even Jabeur’s best efforts are likely to fall short.
Prediction: Ostapenko in 2.
Veronika Kudermetova vs Karolina Pliskova
Head to head: 1-1
Karolina Pliskova’s second round loss at the French Open could be seen as an upset if not of the fact that it came at the hands of former champion and perpetual threat Jelena Ostapenko. Pliskova’s run to the finals of Rome are the only bright spot in a string of recent early defeats. Playing at home against qualifier Viktoria Kudermetova, she can hope for at least a quarterfinal berth. Kudermetova has played well in Ostrava, but she has already played six sets of tennis to Pliskova’s zero. The fresher and higher ranked Pliskova should prevail without too much drama
Prediction: Pliskova in 2.
Karolina Muchova vs Elise Mertens
Head to head: 0-0
Karolina Muchova lost to Naomi Osaka at the Western and Southern Open and Victoria Azarenka at the US Open. Against both she forced pulsating three set battles. Though she lost early at the French, her commanding 6-1, 6-1 victory over Zhang Shuai indicates that she has plenty left in the tank for 2020. Elise Mertens has played at a more convincing level overall in post-lockdown tournaments, but she will have to find another level to get around Muchova who is well positioned to upset the seventh seed.
Prediction: Muchova in 3.
Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka
Head to head: 1-0 Gauff
Coco Gauff may be lower ranked, but she defeated Sabalenka in the pair’s only previous meeting earlier this year in Lexington. That match, a pitched three set battle on hard courts, is a decent predictor for this one. Gauff’s talent along with her ever-increasing mental fortitude made the difference in tight moments such as the first set tie-break. Gauff will have to call on all her reserves to beat the Ostrava third seed, but she is more than equal to the task. Gauff has struggled to string together wins since her deep run in Lexington, but she is already playing well in Ostrava and, if she can tough it out against Sabalenka, could make a confidence-building deep run.
Prediction: Gauff in 3.