WTA Saint-Malo Day 2 Predictions Including Margarita Gasparyan vs Arantxa Rus

Christina McHale in action ahead of the WTA Saint-Malo Open.

The action is set to continue on day two at the WTA Saint-Malo Open in Brittany, with ten first-round matches on the slate. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every scheduled match, including Clara Tauson vs Varvara Gracheva and Xiyu Wang vs Rebecca Peterson. But who will book their place in the second round?

WTA Saint-Malo Open Day 2 Predictions

Margarita Gasparyan vs Arantxa Rus

Head-to-head: first meeting

One suspects that Margarita Gasparyan is rarely short of supporters thanks to her oil-painting of a backhand (to quote the great Robbie Koenig). But the Russian has unfortunately struggled to make an impact on the WTA Tour in recent years and currently sits on the edge of the top 100 at world #98. She did impress in reaching the final at the WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in March, although she followed that by losing in the first round of qualifying in Stuttgart.

Arantxa Rus, meanwhile, has made an entirely indifferent start to the year, winning just four of the 12 matches she has played and failing to advance past the second round at any of the six tournaments she has entered so far this season. However, she does have a relatively good record on the clay and has reached the fourth round at the French Open, albeit back in 2012. Gasparyan, in contrast, has traditionally thrived on faster surfaces. Expect the Dutchwoman’s court-coverage to give her a decisive edge.

Prediction: Rus in 2
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Nina Stojanovic vs Stefanie Voegele

Head-to-head: first meeting

This has the makings of an interesting clash. Stefanie Voegele looks to be decisively past her best, with the Swiss having slumped to 127th place in the world rankings. But she has been in solid form on the red clay of late, reaching the quarterfinals in Bogota before coming through the qualifying in Stuttgart, although she did lose in the first round in Germany. That may well give her an important advantage over her first-round opponent at the WTA Saint-Malo Open, with Nina Stojanovic yet to play on clay this season.

The Serbian has posted some good results on hard courts, most notably reaching the third round at the WTA Miami Open, but she has struggled for consistency in 2021. On her day, she can be a very difficult opponent to face, but her groundstrokes are too often wayward. She also does not have a great deal of experience playing on clay at this level. In a match that otherwise looks close on paper, expect that to prove the difference.

Prediction: Voegele in 3
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Christina McHale vs Viktoriya Tomova

Head-to-head: McHale 1-0 Tomova

It has been a very disappointing season for Christina McHale so far. The American, who has been ranked as high as world #24, has won just two matches in 2021, although there were some signs of promise last time out in Charleston, where McHale beat Sara Errani in her opener before losing in a third-set tiebreak to Maria Osorio Serrano in the last 16. Nonetheless, she will surely be targeting a sharp improvement in her form heading into the European clay-court swing.

Unfortunately for the American, she has not enjoyed a great deal of success on the terre battue over the course of her career. Viktoriya Tomova, in contrast, has played some fine tennis so far in 2021, not least in reaching the semifinals in Bogota. There is still considerable room for improvement on the Bulgarian’s part, but one senses that a breakthrough may not be too far away for the 26-year-old. Expect her to take another step towards accomplishing that here at McHale’s expense.

Prediction: Tomova in 3

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