The stacked WTA Adelaide draw continues to provide great tennis down under as we enter Day 3 of the tournament. Wednesday sees three of the tournament’s top four seeds in action for the first time. Home favorite and World #1 Ash Barty begins her title defence in earnest. Among those still hoping to stop her are Elise Mertens and Belinda Bencic. We’re predicting all of the WTA Adelaide International Day 3 action. We look at three of the matches in this article, and the other four matches in a second article.
WTA Adelaide International Day 3 Predictions
Jil Teichmann vs Qiang Wang
Head-to-head: First meeting
Qiang Wang picked up a comfortable win against Australian wild card Olivia Gadecki in the first round. The Chinese #1 only lost serve once in the match and gave up just three break points in the win. She looked comfortable throughout against a tricky opponent and seems to have shaken off any rust she may have had after nearly a year away from the tour. She will be hopeful of a deep run here to get her season off to a good start after missing so much tennis last year. However, she faces a tough second round opponent in Jil Teichmann.
Teichmann made her name on the tour on clay courts after winning two titles on the surface in 2019. However, she has since shown that she is more than capable on hard courts as well. The Swiss leftie made the final of the 2020 Top Seed Open. She also recently made the quarterfinal of the Phillips Island Trophy in Melbourne. Teichmann has shown she can flatten out her shots and hit through the court when needed and will certainly be hopeful of another good hard court run in Adelaide. The two have never met before and are probably similar in ability. I think Teichmann has a slightly bigger game which should help her on these courts. This could be close, but I think the Swiss takes it.
Prediction: Teichmann in 3
Yulia Putintseva vs Storm Sanders
Head-to-head: Putintseva 1 – 0 Sanders
Yulia Putintseva did well to come through a tricky first round matchup against Laura Siegemund in straight sets yesterday. The Kazak fireball came back from being a break down in both sets to in 6-4 6-4. She will now be hopeful of a deep run in this tournament as the draw appears to have opened up for her. The #7 seed could face an out of form Belinda Bencic or Japanese player Misaki Doi in the next round. However, she must first navigate past qualifier Storm Sanders.
Sanders did well to qualify for the main draw by thrashing American Cathy McNally. She then continued her great run by upsetting fellow Aussie Alja Tomljanovic in straight sets in her first round match. Sanders has never ranked inside the top 200 on the women’s tour but will be very aware that another win or two here will go a long way towards changing that. She only dropped three games in her last match and will be full of confidence as she tries to pull of another upset here.
However, Putintseva is a veteran of the tour and one of the fiercest competitors in the game. She won’t roll over if she is playing badly and Sanders will have to earn every point. The blistering tennis the Aussie has played so far may well win her a set. Her sustaining that level for two sets against a counterpuncher of Putintseva’s pedigree is a bit too much to ask though.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Elise Mertens vs Anastasija Sevastova
Head-to-head: Sevastova 2 – 0 Mertens
Anastasija Sevastova will be thrilled to have picked up a first round win over Caroline Garcia in Adelaide. The Latvian had won just two of her last 11 matches prior to that and was in desperate need of a win. Sevastova is one of the trickier customers on the tour when she is at her best. She has a wonderful blend of power and finesse around the court that make her near impossible to beat when all her shots are firing. She will be hoping for a deep run here after failing to string together any run of note in 2020. Unfortunately, she must beat one of the in-form players this year if that run is to materialize.
Elise Mertens looks in tremendous form so far this year. The Belgian won her warmup event in Melbourne before making the fourth round of the Australian Open. Mertens has hovered in and around the top ten of the women’s game for some time now without managing to break through into that elite group. However, if she carries on playing this level of tennis for a large chunk of the year she will surely find her way there. Whether she is a little worn out after her exploits remains to be seen, but she will be hopeful of a deep run here regardless.
Sevastova showed me enough in her match against Garcia to suggest she could be a problem here. She also leads the head-to-head 2-0. Mertens hasn’t made the top ten yet for a reason and she often struggles to sustain her best for extended periods. Sevastova is due a good run and I think she could swing an upset here. It should be a great match and one I think the Latvian wins in the end.
Prediction: Sevastova in 3
Main Photo from Getty.