Belgrade represents the last opportunity for WTA players to build momentum going into the French Open. It’s been exciting play with some very unexpected upsets. Looking for a spot in the quarterfinal should bring about some competitive matches. Who’ll punch their ticket and who will end their title quest in Belgrade? We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article.
WTA Belgrade Day 4 Predictions
Cristina Bucsa vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
Head to head: First meeting
Cristina Bucsa showed such competitive grit to upset eighth seed Danka Kovinic and win her first WTA main draw match. A confidence booster, no doubt. Perhaps her nerves have settled and the Spaniard will be ready for this challenge. Landing 79 winners in her three matches, look for Bucsa to move Sasnovich out of position and blast winners to the open court.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich won’t find a straightforward win here. She’ll face a determined and motivated player – one who’s build confidence and momentum. Yet the Belarusian built momentum of her own in Saint-Malto, reaching the quarterfinals. Expect Sasnovich to keep the ball in play, patiently wearing down the Spaniard. I give the slight edge to Sasnovich who’s fresher and more experienced. But I expect this will go the distance.
Prediction: Sasnovich in 3
Reka Luca Jani vs Anna Kalinskaya
Head to head: First meeting
Anna Kalinskaya will be looking to reach her second WTA quarterfinal this year (first in Monterrey in March). The 22-year-old Russian has been in good form, knocking out the sixth seed Kristina Mladenovic. Perhaps that says as much about Mladenovic as it does about the Russian–but, I guess that’s a different article, isn’t it. Kalinskaya’s form continues to improve and against an ITF mainstay in the form of Reka Luca Jani, this should be a fairly straightforward win for the Russian.
Prediction: Kalinskaya in 2
Ana Konjuh vs Yulia Putintseva
Head to head: Konjuh 1-0 Putintseva
Ana Konjuh’s three three-set matches are bound to catch up with her at some point. In fact, the Croat has spent more than six hours on the courts in Belgrade. Certainly, the adrenaline has got to be flooding her body–a player on the brink of a comeback. The former World #20 is an exceptional clay courter. But she’ll need to curtail those double faults. Konjuh was able to win against Van Uytvanck with 12 double faults. I’m certain Yulia Putintseva will capitalize on any service deficiencies.
Outside of a quarterfinal run at the Volvo Car Open (Charleston), Putintseva hasn’t enjoyed much clay court success this season. The Kazakhstani will be eager for a deep run, following first round losses in Madrid and Rome. A motivated Konjuh will prove a challenge. But, I don’t think Konjuh will have enough left in the tank to upset a seasoned Putintseva.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Main Photo from Getty.