WTA Linz Open Day 2 Predictions Including Aryna Sabalenka vs Jasmine Paolini

Aryna Sabalenka in action ahead of the WTA Linz Open

There should be no shortage of entertaining action on day two at the WTA Linz Open, the final tournament of this abbreviated WTA season. We here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for four of the eight matches on the slate in Austria. But who will book their place in the second round?

WTA Linz Open Day Two Predictions

Arantxa Rus vs Tamara Zidansek

Head-to-head: first meeting

This first-round encounter looks likely to be a close battle. Both haven’t been at their best of late, but it is surely Arantxa Rus who will be the happier of the two with her recent results. Tamara Zidansek has played only one hard court match since March, losing in the first round of qualifying in Ostrava to Anna Blinkova.

In the same span of time, the Dutchwoman Rus has played eight hard-court matches, reaching the round of 32 as a qualifier at the relocated Cincinnati Masters and the second round in Ostrava. Expect a close contest, but for the better prepared Rus to prevail.

Prediction: Rus in 3
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Jana Fett vs Tereza Martincova

Head-to-head: Fett 2-1 Martincova

Both players made their way into the main draw via the qualifying stages of the tournament. Jana Fett beat Mayo Hibi of Japan and Romania’s Irina Bara, reaching the main draw at a WTA-level event for the first time this season in the process, whilst Tereza Martincova qualified after three-set wins over Britain’s Jodie Anna Burrage and Sabine Lisicki, who reached the Wimbledon final in 2013.

Neither victory came easily for the Czech player, but she was able to continue the good form she has been in since the season resumed in August. And, whilst a competitive encounter should be expected with Fett no doubt eager to re-consolidate her position as a WTA Tour regular, Martincova has posted the better results of the pair in recent months and should be the woman to progress at the WTA Linz Open.

Prediction: Martincova in 2
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Vera Zvonareva vs Marta Kostyuk

Head-to-head: first meeting

This is intriguing match pits one of the better players of the last two decades against one of the rising stars of the women’s game. Vera Zvonareva, who reached back-to-back Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010 and achieved a career-high ranking of world #2, is not the force she once was. But the Ukrainian, currently ranked 173rd in the world, was given a wildcard into the Linz Open and will surely be desperate to take advantage.

She has certainly played well enough recently to suggest that she might. Promisingly, Zvonareva reached the third round in ‘Cincinnati’ and whilst she hasn’t played a great deal of tennis since, she did reach the final at an ITF W25-level event in Istanbul last week. Marta Kostyuk, however, has been in excellent form, qualifying into the main draw at Roland Garros before reaching back-to-back finals at ITF events in the USA. Expect her to have more than enough to dispatch her compatriot.

Prediction: Kostyuk in 2
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Aryna Sabalenka vs Jasmine Paolini

Head-to-head: Paolini 1-0 Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka surprised many in Ostrava after winning both the singles and doubles titles in Czechia, recovering from 0-6 0-4 down against Sara Sorribes Tormo in the quarterfinals to go on to beat her countrywoman Victoria Azarenka in the final. The hard-hitting Belarusian will open her campaign at the WTA Linz Open against Jasmine Paolini, hoping to avenge the defeat she suffered at the Italian’s hands three years ago in Ilkley.

Fortunately for Sabalenka, Paolini is a predominantly a clay-court specialist and has struggled badly on hard courts this year. Indeed, she has won just one match on the surface this season, losing 15 of the last 16 sets she has contested on it. As a result, although Sabalenka can be inconsistent, it is hard to see Paolini causing too many difficulties for Sabalenka, the top seed at the WTA Linz Open.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

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