WTA Gippsland Trophy Day 1 Predictions Including Yafan Wang vs Kaja Juvan

Kaja Juvan in action ahead of the WTA Gippsland Trophy
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The WTA Gippsland Trophy promises to entertain on day one with a host of top names in action in Melbourne. The newly established tournament is one of WTA three events running concurrently in the next week ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year. But who will advance to the second round?

WTA Gippsland Trophy Day One Predictions

Caroline Garcia vs Arina Rodionova

Head-to-head: Garcia 1-0 Rodionova

Caroline Garcia has recorded a middling run of results at the warm-up events for the Australian Open down the years.¬† That is largely due to lack of momentum and match fitness. She is the one player who tends to struggle dearly without any matches under her belt and Arina Rodionova will sense vulnerability in Garcia’s game.

Rodionova is one of four Australian wildcard entrants and has previously scored an upset on home soil,beating Sloane Stephens at last year’s Adelaide International, and the world’s best are never more vulnerable than when they are finding their feet early in the season. That said, the Frenchwoman should pass this opening test.

Prediction: Garcia in 2
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Polona Hercog vs Margarita Gasparyan

Head-to-head: Hercog 0-1 Gasparyan

Polona Hercog is becoming notorious for throwing away leads. The latest example came in her opening round match at the WTA Abu Dhabi Open. From a position of complete dominance, the Slovenian found a way to let slip a 5-2, 40-15 advantage in her match against the in-form Aryna Sabalenka. She lost four straight games and never quite came to terms with it, eventually losing the match 6-7 2-6.

Hercog has the chance to redeem her inconsistency demons against Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan. The 26-year-old has an elegant one-handed backhand, which can do a lot of damage on faster surfaces. Hercog though is not short of creativity and craft, however, and her heavy forehand may cause the Russian’s backhand some problems.

Prediction: Hercog in 3
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Nao Hibino vs Sara Sorribes Tormo

Head-to-head: Hibino 1-0 Sorribes Tormo

Sara Sorribes Tormo will surely arrive in Melbourne in fine spirits after a brilliant start to the year. The Spanish baseliner made the quarterfinals of the inaugural WTA Abu Dhabi Open a few weeks ago, beating French Open semifinalist Nadia Podoroska, Bernarda Pera, and Anastasia Gasanova before falling to the Ukrainian young gun Marta Kostyuk. Nao Hibino, in contrast, appears to be plagued by inconsistencies and the Spaniard should fancy her chances as a result.

Prediction: Sorribes Tormo in 3
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Wang Yafan vs Kaja Juvan

Head-to-head: first meeting

It is hard not to relate Kaja Juvan to her Wimbledon exploits in 2019. Fresh-faced and with nothing to lose, she memorably stole a set off Serena Williams and briefly entertained the idea of causing an improbable upset over the 23-time Grand Slam winner. There have been sporadic improvements in her game ever since and significant wins (notably beating Angelique Kerber at last year’s French Open), but like so many young players she has found it difficult to shake off the inconsistency bug. Still, this is a very winnable match against an opponent who has only played nine matches since the start of last season

Prediction: Juvan in 3

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