While the attention of the tennis world will largely be focused on the Australian Open, the WTA Phillip Island Trophy final will also be played on Friday at Melbourne Park. It promises to be an intriguing conclusion to the WTA 250 event. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our prediction for the final. Who will lift the trophy?
WTA Phillip Island Trophy Final Prediction
Daria Kasatkina vs Marie Bouzkova
Head-to-head: Kasatkina 1-0 Bouzkova
Unseeded Russian Daria Kasatkina has progressed to the final, losing two sets in five matches. After beating Katie Boulter and Varvara Gracheva in the first two rounds, she defeated seventh seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a three-set third round match. The 23-year-old then dismissed fourth seed Petra Martic 6-0 6-4 in the quarterfinals, and slipped past eighth seed Danielle Collins in three sets in the semifinals.
Kasatkina reached a career-high ranking of #10 in 2018, but is currently down at #75 after difficult 2019 and 2020 seasons. This will be the Russian’s first WTA 250 final, but she has won two of her four title matches at WTA 500 level. The 23-year-old has lifted trophies in Charlseton and Moscow, and finished runner-up in Moscow and Dubai. Kasatkina also fell in the final of the Premier Mandatory event in Indian Wells in 2018.
World #50 Marie Bouzkova has dropped three sets en route to the final. In the first round, Bouzkova’s opponent Danka Kovinic retired while up a set but down 0-5 in the second set. The Czech then saw off Lin Zhu and Gabriella da Silva Flick in straight sets in the second and third rounds. In the quarterfinals, the 22-year-old defeated Jil Teichmann in three sets. She then beat second seed and World #9 Bianca Andreescu in a three-set semifinal–after saving two match points.
Bouzkova is arguably one of the better WTA players yet to win a singles title. The 22-year-old Czech has reached one WTA Tour final, at the 2020 Monterrey Open WTA 250 event. She lost to Elina Svitolina in a tight three-setter.
Kasatkina won the pair’s only previous meeting in three close sets, in the final round of qualifying for Ostrava last year. The Russian has the more expansive game, possessing great variety. Bouzkova is a very solid all-court player. Both have had impressive wins against quality opposition this week. Kasatkina’s higher ceiling, and greater experience playing and winning finals, should give her the slight edge in a tight match.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 3
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