WTA Parma Day 3 Predictions Including Sloane Stephens vs Daria Kasatkina

Daria Kasatkina in action ahead of the WTA Parma Open.

There looks set to be plenty of entertaining action on day three at the WTA Parma Open, with a number of star names set to take to the court in Emilia-Romagna. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Serena Williams vs Katerina Siniakova. But who will advance and who will fall to defeat in Italy?

WTA Parma Open Day 3 Predictions

Anna-Lena Friedsam vs Viktorija Golubic

Head-to-head: Friedsam 2-1 Golubic

Viktorija Golubic may have flown slightly under the radar so far this season, but there are few women in better form on the WTA Tour. The Swiss has posted a scarcely creditable 34-7 record for the year, winning the title in Saint-Malo, as well as reaching finals in Monterrey and Lyon. At ITF-level, she won the title in Grenoble and made the final in Fujairah in the first week of the season. She will surely have high hopes of making in impact in Parma as a result.

Standing between her and a place in the second round is Anna-Lena Friedsam. The German leads their head-to-head 2-1, but they have not played since 2016 and there can be no doubt that it is Golubic who is in the better form. Friedsam currently finds herself ranked outside the top 100 and she has won just seven matches so far in 2021. She did impress in coming through the qualifying at the WTA Parma Open, but the in-form Swiss should have enough to level their head-to-head.

Prediction: Golubic in 3
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Cori Gauff vs Kaia Kanepi

Head-to-head: first meeting

Cori Gauff provided yet another reminder of just how special a talent she is with a thrilling run to the semifinals in Rome, where she picked up wins over Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka. There is an asterisk over her ‘victory’ over Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals, which came after the Australian retired leading 6-4 2-1, but it was a very fine week for the American nonetheless. One that suggests that she could do some damage at the WTA Parma Open.

However, she faces a potentially tough first-round test up against Kaia Kanepi. The Estonian may not be the force she once was, but she remains a fierce competitor and she is able to summon plenty of power off the ground. But her lack of speed around the court can be exploited by opponents, particularly those willing to change direction early in the rally. Fortunately for Gauff, that is one of her strengths, particularly off the backhand-side. Expect her to prove just about too strong for Kanepi.

Prediction: Gauff in 2
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Giulia Gatto-Monticone vs Liudmila Samsonova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Giulia Gatto-Monticone can certainly play on the clay: she proved as much with a run to the semifinals at an ITF-event in Buenos Aires and by coming through the qualifying to reach the last 16 at the WTA Copa Colsanitas in Bogota. But she remains relatively inexperienced at WTA-level and has never been ranked inside the world’s top 100, a ranking ceiling she looks unlikely to break this late in her career. Liudmila Samsonova, though not always the most consistent performer, by contrast is on the brink of bringing her ranking down into double figures, a feat she may well have achieved already if not for the changes to the ranking system introduced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. She should be able to reach the second round comfortably enough.

Prediction: Samsonova in 2
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Sloane Stephens vs Daria Kasatkina

Head-to-head: Stephens 2-1 Kasatkina

When this pair last met on a clay court, it was in the considerably grander environs of Roland Garros with a place in the semifinals up for grabs. Sloane Stephens emerged victorious that day, dismissing Daria Kasatkina for the loss of only four games. But although the American went on to reach the final in Paris – where she lost narrowly to Simona Halep – her form has fallen away badly in the three years since and she currently finds herself ranked 65th in the world.

Her first-round win over her compatriot Catherine McNally was just her seventh of the year and one suspects she will face sterner resistance up against Kasatkina this time around than she did in Paris. The Russian too has struggled in recent seasons, but she has played some solid tennis this year and looked sharp in dispatching Hsieh Su-wei in her opener in Parma. This may well go the distance, but Kasatkina should be the player to reach the quarterfinals at the WTA Parma Open.

Prediction: Kasatkina in 3

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