WTA Gdynia Day 1 Predictions Including Anna Blinkova vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in action ahead of the WTA Gdynia Open.

The post-Wimbledon clay season continues on the red clay in Poland at the WTA Gdynia Open. With a number of good clay courters in the field, it should be a week full of entertaining tennis. There are six first-round matches on the slate on day one and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for all six, including Kateryna Kozlova vs Katie Volynets. But who will win and who will fall short?

WTA Gdynia Day 1 Predictions

Irina Bara vs Federica Di Sarra

Head-to-head: first meeting

Irina Bara beat Sara Errani in the first round of Budapest last week, but was overpowered in a second round loss to Olga Danilovic. Danilovic won 74% of her first-serve points, compared to only 58% for Bara. Federica Di Sarra did well to make it through qualifying without dropping a set. The Italian had impressive victories over Gabriela Talaba and Tereza Mrdeza, holding the opponents to a combined 20/47 second-serve points won.

These two have never played before. Bara is a grinder who understands her way around a clay court. She’s very consistent from the baseline, counterpunches well, using great anticipation to turn points around. Her court coverage and her shot placement from defensive positions on the court may well to be too much for Di Sarra to handle, forcing the Italian to overplay too often. It’s hard to ignore Di Sarra’s impressive qualifying results and she should sneak a set, but expect Bara to come through.

Prediction: Bara in 3
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Kristina Kucova vs Urszula Radwanska

Head-to-head: first meeting

Kristina Kucova played some decent tennis in her last tournament on the red clay of Hamburg, using her lucky loser spot well. She beat Mona Barthel and took a set off Danielle Collins before falling in three sets. However, Kucova’s serve was less than impressive in Hamburg where she hit a combined three aces against 17 double faults in the four matches she played (including qualifying). Urszula Radwanska qualified for the hard-court tournament in Prague last week, but fell in her first main draw match to Nuria Parrizas-Diaz. Against Parrizas-Diaz, Radwanska only won 47% of her service points.

Kucova and Radwanska never played before. Kucova is a little more comfortable on clay, with her two-handed forehand and backhand allowing her to manipulate the ball around the court. Radwanska seemed a bit powerless last week against Parrizas-Diaz and should get pushed around the court during this match. While Kucova’s ace-to-double-fault ratio is not good, trust her to be more solid during the baseline rallies whilst it won’t help Radwanska’s cause that she has to make the quick transition from hard courts to clay. Kucova wins.

Prediction: Kucova in 2
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Anna Blinkova vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Anna Blinkova fell in the second round of the red-clay tournament in Lausanne last week to Lucia Bronzetti. Bronzetti won 74% of her service points, compared to only 41% for Blinkova. Blinkova will have to play better to have a shot in this match. Anna Karolina fell in her second-round match against Dalma Galfi. Schmiedlova was broken four times and didn’t generate enough break opportunities on return, only generating four break points and converting one of those opportunities.

This will be the first meeting between this pair. Schmiedlova is more of a traditional clay courter of the two, with Blinkova sometimes doing better on a little bit quicker surfaces where the court can give her more power on her groundstrokes. Schmiedlova should be able to return better against Blinkova than she did against Galfi, as Blinkova’s serve isn’t very threatening even on a good day. Schmiedlova should be able to control the baseline, force Blinkova to do a lot of running, and generate short balls that she can finish off with ease. Schmiedlova moves on at the WTA Gdynia Open.

Prediction: Schmiedlova in 2

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