WTA Linz Open Day 1 Predictions Including Dayana Yastremska vs Greet Minnen

Dayana Yastremska in action ahead of the WTA Linz Open
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For the final time in this strangest of seasons, the world’s best female players will be in action at the WTA Linz Open in Austria. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate. But who will reach the second round on day one in Linz?

 WTA Linz Open Day One Predictions

Varvara Gracheva vs Katarina Zavatska

Head-to-head: first meeting

Katarina Zavatska made a fine start to her qualifying campaign at the WTA Linz Open, battling past Croatia’s Ana Konjuh from a set down to win 5-7 6-4 6-2. However, she appeared to have picked up an injury in that match, leaving her unable to compete effectively in the final round of qualifying against her compatriot Anhelina Kalinina. After losing the first ten games of the match, Zavatska retired, only to then be given a reprieve as a lucky loser.

Varvara Gracheva, meanwhile, has not played since losing in the first round of qualifying to Irina-Camelia Begu in Ostrava. But she will surely like her chances up against Zavatska in what is set to be their first meeting. Whilst lucky losers are often able to play with unusual freedom having been given a second chance, it is hard to see Zavatska having recovered sufficiently since losing to Kalinina to offer the Russian Gracheva much resistance.

Prediction: Gracheva in 2
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Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs Bernarda Pera

Head-to-head: first meeting

Aliaksandra Sasnovich is almost certainly a better player than her ranking of world #92 suggests, with the Belarusian having been ranked as high as world #30 as recently as September, 2018. But she has struggled to find any consistency of late, despite some promising results including a run to the quarterfinals in Palermo, where she qualified into the main draw, and a third-round showing at the US Open. And in Bernarda Pera, she faces a player in desperate need of wins.

The American came perilously close to upsetting Serena Williams in the first round in Lexington in her first match after the season resumed, but she has won just three matches since, failing to advance past the second round at any of the six tournaments she has played. That disappointing run of results offers little encouragement that she will get the better of Sasnovich here. The Belarusian may not be in the form of her life, but she has been winning matches more regularly than Pera.

Prediction: Sasnovich in 3
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Katerina Siniakova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Head-to-head: Siniakova 3-3 Alexandrova

Ekaterina Alexandrova made a fine start to 2020, winning the title at the Shenzhen Open before reaching the semifinals in St Petersburg. But she has failed to recapture that form since the season resumed, despite some good results. In her last outing, which came at the Ostrava Open, she lost in the first round, although she did face a tough draw up against the eighth seed Anett Kontaveit, who she took to a third-set tiebreak.

Katerina Siniakova, meanwhile, found her feet on the European clay, having struggled throughout the abbreviated North American hard-court swing. That revival in her fortunes included a comprehensive 6-2 6-4 win over Alexandrova in the second round in Strasbourg. But Alexandrova is generally more at home on indoor hard courts than she is on outdoor clay, which she demonstrated by beating Siniakova 7-5 6-0 in Linz a year ago. It may not be quite so one-sided this year, but expect Alexandrova to emerge victorious.

Prediction: Alexandrova in 3
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Dayana Yastremska vs Greet Minnen

Head-to-head: first meeting

It is hard to know quite what to make of Dayana Yastremska’s season. The Ukrainian unquestionably has a bright future in the game and it seems unfair to judge a player too harshly on their returns this year, with the season having been so badly disrupted. Nonetheless, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Yastremska has not kicked on as she would have liked and the failure to add to her collection of three titles or cement a position in the top 20 will surely be a source of frustration.

Her recent matches have been particularly disappointing, with a stunning 4-6 3-6 reverse suffered at the hands of Daria Gavrilova at Roland Garros followed by a 6-3 6-7 1-6 loss to Jennifer Brady in the first round at the Ostrava Open. However, that should not entirely overshadow the fact that she is still ranked inside the world’s top 30. And as Greet Minnen has been struggling for wins at ITF-level, do not expect the Belgian to add to Yastremska’s troubles.

Prediction: Yastremska in 2

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