WTA Gippsland Trophy Day 2 Predictions Including Andrea Petkovic vs Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolina in action ahead of the WTA Gippsland Trophy
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With the Australian Open now barely a week away, there should be no shortage of motivation for the field at the WTA Gippsland Trophy, held at Melbourne Park. On day two, a number of star names are set to join the action and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Simona Halep vs Anastasia Potapova and Alize Cornet vs Ajla Tomljanovic. But who will advance in Melbourne?

WTA Gippsland Trophy Day Two Predictions

Varvara Lepchenko vs Mayo Hibi

Head-to-head: Lepchenko 2-0 Hibi

Rather unusually, despite both being outside the world’s top 150, just one ranking place separates Varvara Lepchenko and Mayo Hibi, with Lepchenko ranked 181st in the world and Hibi 182nd. But it will likely be the American Lepchenko who is the more confident heading into this contest. Although, unlike Hibi, she failed to qualify for the main draw at the Australian Open, losing in the final round to Greet Minnen, she has won both of their previous matches.

The first, which came in 2017, was a hard-fought three-set battle, but in their most recent clash, in the round of 16 at an ITF event in Macon late last season, Lepchenko emerged a comfortable 6-3 6-2 winner. With the conditions in Melbourne not entirely dissimilar to those in Macon and likely to suit Lepchenko’s first-strike brand of tennis, it would not be a surprise to see the veteran American come out on top once again.

Prediction: Lepchenko in 2
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Zarina Diyas vs Laura Siegemund

Head-to-head: first meeting

Neither Laura Siegemund nor Zarina Diyas are likely to be particularly happy with the start they made to their 2021 seasons. Both were in action at the Abu Dhabi Open and both were beaten in the first round, with Siegemund edged out by fellow veteran Kirsten Flipkens in three sets whilst Diyas lost 4-6 4-6 to Ekaterina Alexandrova. But the German did manage to reach the semifinals in the doubles playing with Vera Zvonareva. That match practice may well prove valuable.

Perhaps surprisingly, with both women well-established in the top 100, this will be the first meeting between the pair. It may be one that Siegemund approaches with confidence nonetheless. Although she is most at home on the clay, her consistent groundstrokes and good court-coverage allow her to remain competitive wherever she plays. The German can be vulnerable to being overpowered, but with Diyas not one of the bigger hitters on the WTA Tour, that may not be concern. Expect Siegemund to grind the Kazakh down.

Prediction: Siegemund in 3
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Cori Gauff vs Jil Teichmann

Head-to-head: first meeting

There appeared to be some signs that Cori Gauff was struggling with the weight of expectation in the later stages of the 2020 season. There were good performances from the young American, but she also seemed to be short of some of the clarity and focus that have been the hallmark of her early successes. That is a trend that continued in Abu Dhabi, where after a fine start against the outmatched Ulrikke Eikeri, who she beat for the loss of just one game, Gauff was herself soundly beaten by Maria Sakkari.

But the 16-year-old should expect to be more competitive against Jil Teichmann. The Swiss impressed at times last season, not least in reaching the final at the Top Seed Open in Lexington, but she struggled for consistency. However, Teichmann does have a very effective forehand and a willingness to step in and dictate. She will need to be willing to risk doing just that against a defender as effective as Gauff, but she is a good enough player to hit through the American. Expect her to do so.

Prediction: Teichmann in 3

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Andrea Petkovic vs Elina Svitolina

Head-to-head: Svitolina 3-0 Petkovic

It is hard to escape the feeling that this is an important season for Elina Svitolina. It is some time since the Ukrainian established herself in the top 10, and whilst she deserves credit for maintaining that status, she has also rather failed to kick on and begin challenging for the biggest titles on a regular basis. Her back-to-back semifinal showings at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019 were encouraging, but she seems to have regressed to the mean since.

However, she will surely like her chances of getting her WTA Gippsland Trophy campaign off to a winning start against Andrea Petkovic. The German veteran made a solid start to her week with a hard-fought 6-1 3-6 7-5 win over Martina Trevisan, but Svitolina is a cut above the Italian, particularly on a hard court. She has also won all three of her previous meetings with Petkovic. The most recent may have been in 2016, but the intervening years have been kinder to Svitolina’s career than her opponent’s.

Prediction: Svitolina in 2

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