My mood is as grey/black as the clay in WTA Charleston after my Day 2 predictions didn’t achieve perfection–far from it in fact. However, there are four good matches on Day 3 as the players fight to reach the quarterfinals. We preview all four of Wednesday’s matches.
WTA Charleston Day 3 Predictions
Francesca Di Lorenzo vs Nao Hibino
Head-to-head: Di Lorenzo 1-1 Hibino
The previous meetings of the pair give us very little clue here as they were both on hard court and they have split them anyway. What we can say though is that four of the five sets played have been very close which perhaps indicates the type of match we will see here. Both players saw off compatriots in the opener but Di Lorenzo was the more impressive. Her left-handed quirks really really helping the American overcome Kristie Ahn as an underdog but I make her the favourite to progress here. Hibino was on the verge of the exit door vs Misaki Doi and despite somehow scrambling clear and benefitting from a late retirement it is the American who was the most impressive. Expect Di Lorenzo to progress into the quarterfinals.
Prediction: Di Lorenzo in 3
Danka Kovinic vs Lauren Davis
Head-to-head: Davis 1-0 Kovinic
These players met only a month ago in Guadalajara and on that occasion, Davis was a comfortable 6-2 6-2 winner. That may make her favourite for this one in many people’s eyes but I see it slightly differently. I think the conditions of this Charleston court play perfectly into Kovinic’s hands. She will be able to use her superior height and frame to produce topspin forehands and backhands that could get the diminutive American in trouble. Kovinic’s record over the past two weeks in Charleston has been excellent and it could continue here.
Prediction: Kovinic in 2
Ajla Tomljanovic vs Clara Tauson
Head-to-meeting: First meeting
Quality-wise this looks like it could be the match of the day. The tall frame of the young Dane looks as if it will cope well with the particular dynamics of this Charleston surface and she produced a good solid victory in the opening round against the tricky Ludmilla Samsonova. Tomljanovic has generally struggled for form for a year or so and will have been pleased to dominate an opponent so convincingly as she did in the opening round. To lose only two games in any match is very impressive and makes this a difficult match to call. This may well go the distance but I think the extra height and comfort on the clay surface that Tauson brings to the table will be enough to see her through in this battle.
Prediction: Tauson in 3
Shelby Rogers vs Claire Liu
Head-to-meeting: First meeting
Rogers absolutely wiped the floor with Caty McNally in the opening round. That was a match that I thought would be fairly trying for Rogers but it showed how dialled in her game is at the moment. Liu is also the owner of an excellent technique for this surface in particular and her fledgeling clay court WTA record is currently standing a an impressive 11-4 so this shouldn’t be a cakewalk for the #3 seed. However, it is difficult to get that fantastic display ve McNally out of your mind and a repeat of somewhere near that level should be enough for the seed to progress again into the quarterfinals.
Prediction: Rogers in 2
Main Photo from Getty.