WTA Yarra Valley Classic Day 2 Predictions Including Danielle Collins vs Nina Stojanovic

Danielle Collins in action at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic

The action in Melbourne in the lead up to the Australian Open will continue on day two at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic, with a number of the big guns joining the fray. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions, including for Serena Williams’ clash with Daria Gavrilova. But who will advance and who will slip to defeat at Melbourne Park?

WTA Yarra Valley Classic Day Two Predictions

Donna Vekic vs Tsvetana Pironkova

Head-to-head: Pironkova 4-0 Vekic

It is hard to escape the conclusion that Donna Vekic, for all her considerable talent, has badly lost her way. The Croatian put together a career-best year in 2019, highlighted by her run to the quarterfinals at the US Open, but she failed entirely to back that up in 2020 and she arrives at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic having lost her last five matches, winning just two sets in the process. The woman who began that miserable run with a 6-1 6-4 win in the third round at the US Open? None other than Tsvetana Pironkova.

The Bulgarian, who went on to reach the quarterfinals in New York, has beaten Vekic in all four of their previous meetings. That will surely give her real confidence heading into this match, as will her dominant 6-2 6-1 win over Russia’s Ludmilla Samsonova in the first round. In contrast, it is hard to find many reasons to feel hopeful for Vekic. The Croatian will almost certainly break out of this slump in the end, but it doesn’t seem very likely to happen here.

Prediction: Pironkova in 2
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Nadia Podoroska vs Francesca Jones

Head-to-head: Podoroska 2-0 Jones

Nadia Podoroska’s run to the French Open semifinals was unquestionably one of the stories of the 2020 season. Now the Argentinian faces the daunting task of proving that it was more than a flash in the pan. However, she may face sterner tests than Britain’s Francesca Jones in her bid to do so. Jones did superbly to qualify for the Australian Open, particularly considering the challenges she has had to overcome, but she played Podoroska twice last season and lost both matches. She was competitive, winning a set in their first contest, but the Argentine ultimately proved too strong. Expect a similar outcome in Melbourne.

Prediction: Podoroska in 3
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Misaki Doi vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Head-to-head: Doi 1-1 Pavlyuchenkova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova may not quite have managed to live up to the expectations created by her remarkable success as a junior, but she has nonetheless carved out a very solid career in the professional ranks. However, her 2021 season began in rather disappointing fashion with a 6-7 3-6 loss at the hands of Ons Jabeur in the first round in Abu Dhabi. One imagines that she will be determined to get back to winning ways as a result.

Misaki Doi, meanwhile, has been out of action since November. Fortunately for the Japanese, the lack of match practice is unlikely to prove too great of an obstacle with the mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed by the Victorian government serving as a fairly effective leveller. What may be a concern is the ease with Pavlyuchenkova dismissed her in their last meeting, which came in Osaka in 2019. A reoccurrence of such a one-sided result would be a surprise, but Pavlyuchenkova’s greater power should once again give her an insurmountable advantage.

Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 3

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Danielle Collins vs Nina Stojanovic

Head-to-head: first meeting

Nina Stojanovic made an excellent start to her season with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 win over Egypt’s Mayar Sherif, who had impressed in negotiating the Australian Open qualifying, but proved unable to recapture that form on day one at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic. Danielle Collins, who reached the semifinals at the Australian Open two years ago, also impressed, dispatching Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure for the loss of only six games.

She will head into this match as the favourite, despite Stojanovic’s fine first-round performance. Collins may not boat the heaviest weight of shot on the women’s tour, but her ability to take the ball early and on the rise allows her to hit through opponents regardless, particularly on quicker surfaces. Stojanovic, though a good mover and solid from the baseline, cannot match that ability to step up the ante. That should prove to be the difference here.

Prediction: Collins in 2

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