WTA St Petersburg Ladies’ Trophy Day 1 Predictions Including Jelena Ostapenko vs Paula Badosa Gibert

Jelena Ostapenko Doha 2020

Next up on the WTA Tour schedule, alongside Monterrey, is the St Petersburg Ladies’ Trophy. The tournament features a strong Russian contingent, with eight native players featuring in the main draw of 32. Top seed Ekaterina Alexandrova will be hoping for a better performance this time out than she had in Lyon. The draw also features 2015 champion Jelena Ostapenko, who headlines proceedings on Day 1 of the tournament. We take a look at how her and others should perform in the first round of action in our WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy Day 1 Predictions.

WTA St Petersburg Day 1 Predictions

 

Ana Bogdan vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich

Head-to-head:

On paper this looks like a close match, with only four ranking places separating the two players. However, Sasnovich’s best tennis is well above her current ranking of #97. She has struggled mightily for consistency over the last 18 months and has not managed to shake that trend this year. Sasnovich is yet to win back-to-back matches on the tour this year and will be hoping to turn that around and start trending in the right direction with a solid performance in St Petersburg.

Facing her is Ana Bogdan. The Romanian has slipped slowly from the heights she reached in 2018 when she was ranked #76 in the world. However, with an ITF title on the hard courts of Dubai to her name, she is certainly no slouch on the surface and will be a tough opponent for Sasnovich. I’ve said in many of these predictions that more often than not I will go with the player who’s racket the match is on. This matchup is no different. Sasnovich should come through here.
Prediction: Sasnovich in 2

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Vera Zvonareva vs Arina Rodionova

Head-to-head:

Two WTA tour veterans take on each other in this round of 32 match up. Zvonareva has undoubtedly had the more successful career, having once been the World #2. However, it is a long time since she reached those heights, and she has not been in the top #100 at year end since 2014. She has showed promise on the ITF and challenger circuits in the last 12 months, but doesn’t appear to have the game anymore to make serious inroads on the WTA Tour. Fortunately she is playing an opponent who is also more accustomed to life in the lower tiers of women’s tennis

Rodionova has never broken into the top 100, and at 31 it is unlikely that she will discover the game to do so at this point in her career. She has done well to qualify for the tournament, but didn’t beat anyone of note to do so. Zvonareva undoubtedly has the higher level and the better game of these two. Matches on the court may well give Rodionova enough of an edge to win a set, but she will do little more than that.
Prediction: Zvonareva in 3

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Jelena Ostapenko vs Paula Badosa Gibert

Head-to-head:

Any tennis fan will know that this match is entirely dependant on which Ostapenko shows up on the day. The 2017 French Open champion is one of the few players on tour who no-one can live with when she is on form. Unfortunately for her, she has been able to sustain that level for a sustained period on only the rare occasion since 2017. In between those brief runs of brilliance have been some truly painful matches. Her serve, in particular her second serve, remains a real weakness.

Add to that the fact that she can easily rack up 30 or 40 unforced errors in a match if she is off and you will understand why some of her matches are so difficult to watch. In contrast Badosa Gibert is nothing but solid. She doesn’t have any obvious weapons, but is very consistent and good at taking the ball early and rushing opponents. Whether she is able to do that against someone who hits the ball as Ostapenko I’m not sure. In truth, if the best Ostapenko turns up for this match she will win it comfortably. That version has been so rare though that I am going to break my rule and pick against the racket here. Badosa Gibert is coming off a great run in Lyon and should be consistent enough here to get the win.
Prediction: Badosa Gibert in 3

Main Photo from Getty.


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