The second day of action in St Petersburg sees newly crowned WTA Lyon champion Clara Tauson in action against #8 see Daria Kasatkina. The main draw of this tournament is full of hometown talent, with eight Russians featuring in the field of 32. Five of those eight are seeded and will be hopeful of adding a WTA title to their trophy cabinet this week. The likes of Tauson, Fiona Ferro, and Kristina Mladenovic appear best placed to stop them, As ever, we predict who should advance in each match in our WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy day 2 predictions. We also predict the day’s other four matches.
WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy Day 2 Predictions
Daria Mishina vs Kamilla Rakhimova
Head-to-head: First meeting
This match features two Russian players trending in opposite directions as far as their tennis careers are concerned. Rakhimova is the World #150. She is just 19 years of age and is yet another promising young talent poised to make a breakthrough on the WTA Tour. By contrast, Daria Mishina is now 27. The wildcard has a career best year end ranking of #373. Her entry into the main draw in St Petersburg is a golden opportunity for her to change that.
However, all signs point towards a comfortable win for Rakhimova here. She is higher ranked, has a better game and has the advantage of having come through qualifiers, meaning she is familiar with the courts already. Nerves may play a part in this as it is a golden opportunity for both to make inroads on the tour. However, I think Rakhimova’s superior talent will shine through eventually.
Prediction: Rakhimova in 3
Xinyu Wang vs Viktoriya Tomova
Head-to-head: Wang 0-1 Tomova
Qualifier and young Chinese prodigy Xinyu Wang meets tour veteran Tomova in this first round clash. Tomova has hovered near the top 100 in the women’s game for several years now without manage to break through that barrier. This draw presents a great opportunity for the Bulgarian to do just that.
However, Wang looks to be a good young talent with a promising career ahead of her. There is little to separate the two on paper, but the Chinese player is on an upward trajectory whilst Tomova’s career seems to have levelled off. The Bulgarian won their only meeting two years ago, but Wang is much improved since then. Pick her to advance in what should be a close match and even up the head-to-head.
Prediction: Wang in 3
Stefanie Voegele vs Tereza Martincova
Both Voegele and Martincova have the game to be regulars inside the top 100 on the WTA Tour. However, neither has found the consistency to play at that level on a regular basis. As such, they continue to find themselves on the outside looking in. This tournament is a great opportunity for both to change that.
They both feature in the Lyon Open 2 weeks ago. Voegele has not played since her second round exit in that tournament. In contrast, Martincova made the third round there and went on to win four matches in Dubai last week. Given her bigger game and better form, I’m taking the Czech to win this match comfortably.
Prediction: Martincova in 2
Clara Tauson vs Daria Kasatkina
Two of 2021’s WTA title winners meet in what will undoubtedly be the match of the day. After two years adrift, Kasatkina seems to have rediscovered the tennis that saw her climb to #10 in the world at the peak of her powers. The Russian picked up the Philips Island Trophy in Melbourne last month, beating several top 50 players along the way. Tauson was equally impressive in her first WTA title run in Lyon, dispatching the likes of Camilla Giorgi and Ekaterina Alexandrova with ease.
Both have great variety to their game when at their best. Tauson has the better serve and forehand, while Kasatkina’s slice game and backhand edge the Dane’s. If both are playing to the best of their abilities this will be a brilliant match. However, Tauson has picked up four ITF titles and a WTA trophy in the past six months. For all intents and purposes the rising star has forgotten how to lose, dropping just three of the 25 matches she has played this year.
Given her form, I think she has the slight edge in this one, particularly after coming through qualifiers and growing accustomed to the courts along the way. Pick the Dane to win this in a close one.
Prediction: Tauson in 3
Main Photo from Getty.