The Ostrava Open has shown itself to be the kind of tournament that laughs in the face of expectation and thumbs its nose at those foolish enough to attempt to predict the future, from a slew of last minute additions to the draw to the routine dropping of seeded players at the hands of talented floaters. Day five promises more thrilling matches.
WTA Ostrava Open Day 5 Predictions Including Victoria Azarenka vs Elise Mertens
Maria Sakkari vs Ons Jabeur
Head to head: 1-0 Jabeur
Ons Jabeur’s thrilling variety and creative shot-selection disrupted Jelena Ostapenko’s power game and made the talented Latvian look one dimensional. Maria Sakkari, though she has not achieved what Ostapenko has, is a more adept player with more avenues to victory. The pair haven’t met for years so Jabeur’s previous victory does not provide much insight. Sakkari’s recent strong performances against Serena Williams – the victory at the Western and Southern Open and her loss at the US Open – show how deep she can dig to stay in matches. Jabeur’s form has carried over from her quarterfinal run at the French Open, but Sakkari’s ability to deal with Jabeur’s mercurial style of play will diffuse the imaginative Tunisian’s highly watchable game.
Prediction: Sakkari in 3.
Sara Sorribes Tormo vs Aryna Sabalenka
Head to head: 0-0
Sara Sorribes Tormo has blitzed her way through qualifying – helped by a walkover against Anna Blinkova – to a spot in the quarterfinals facing third seed Aryna Sabalenka. Though she has played many more matches, she could well show up fresher than Sabalenka who battled through a three set marathon against Coco Gauff. After swiftly dropping the first set Sabalenka dug in and finally won the match in a third set tiebreak after falling behind in the score early in the decider. Tired legs or not, Sabalenka can take heart from the fact she sits 72 spots higher in the rankings than Sorribes Tormo. Sorribes Tormo’s dream run is likely at an end as her game is a poor match for Sabalenka’s.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2.
Jennifer Brady vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head to head: 1-0 Brady
Jennifer Brady’s US Open semifinal and her run to the finals in Lexington rather than her first round loss at the French Open are the indicator for her level in Ostrava. She was pushed hard by Dayana Yastremska in the round of 32, but found her form against Daria Kasatkina, seeing off the skilled Russian in straight sets. Brady’s full potential is still not quite certain since her level has so dramatically risen since lockdown, but she should have more than enough to best Kudermetova who did well to beat second seed Karolina Pliskova in three sets, but is not playing as cleanly or confidently as Brady.
Prediction: Brady in 2.
Victoria Azarenka vs Elise Mertens
Head to head: 1-0 Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka and Elise Mertens have met only once before. At the end of that encounter, Azarenka had won a match against Mertens and Mertens had won a game against Azarenka. Mertens was overwhelmed by Azarenka’s clean striking and smooth movement. While it is unlikely the score will be so lopsided again – both are talented players – that recent memory will give Azarenka an easy well of power to draw upon. She will also have her recent string of success on hard courts to give her confidence. She is currently 13-1 on hard courts since the start of the Western and Southern Open and her run looks in no danger of being stopped.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2.