WTA Palermo Day 2 Predictions including Cristina Bucsa vs Shuai Zhang

Shuai Zhang WTA Hobart International
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Day 2 of the WTA Palermo Ladies’ Open is here! It’s been a scintillating week of tennis so far in Italy and the action continues on Tuesday with more high-quality matchups. Who will win and who will fall short? As always, we share our thoughts with you, split between two articles. We look at four matches in this article and four in a separate article.

WTA Palermo Day 2 Predictions

Viktoriya Tomova vs Lucia Bronzetti

Head to Head: Tomova 1-0 Bronzetti

This is a tough match to judge because the players come into it with completely opposite form. Tomova has struggled to win matches of late, but she is by far the higher ranked of the two. The Italian wildcard has been in very good form, especially on clay, but has been plying her trade lower down the tennis pyramid on the ITF circuit.

If both women play to their peak then the winner would undoubtedly be Tomova. The Bulgarian has a stronger serve, more consistent grounstrokes and a dominant win the last time the players met. However, one cannot ignore the confidence than winning gives a player. On home dirt I think that Bronzetti could come out on top in a long match. Her movement is excellent on the natural surface having grown up on these courts and her positivity could make all the difference.
Prediction: Bronzetti in 3

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Olga Danilovic vs Kamilla Rakhimova

Head to Head: Rakhimova 3-0 Danilovic

Danilovic comes into this tournament off an impressive run to the quarterfinal in Budapest. This was a much needed confidence boost as the Serbian had lost five consecutive matches before that. Rakhimova isn’t in excellent form herself but does have a big trump card in preparation for this match.

Head-to-head records aren’t always instructive but this isn’t one of those times. Two of the three meetings have come in 2021 including the most recent in May on the clay of Belgrade. The Russian won this battle convincingly 6-2 6-4 and in these similar conditions it will take a considerable change to see that scoreline being overturned. Rakhimova had some early season form on clay as well and is near the peak of her ranking still so she is favoured to progress here.
Prediction: Rakhimova in 2

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Valeria Savinykh vs Francesca Di Lorenzo

Head to Head: never played

Both of these ladies are having poor years on the main tour. Savinykh currently finds herself in the awkward position of good on the ITF tour but struggling on the main tour. Di Lorenzo is certainly struggling as well with a 22% win rate on the WTA Tour over the course of the last year.

However, this match presents the opportunity to improve that statistic. Savinykh seems to purposely avoid clay courts in her scheduling. She has played only four matches on the surface in the last year, and lost all four as well. Whilst it is difficult to back a player who has lost their previous seven matches, Di Lorenzo did have a few wins (four in total) on the American clay in the spring, all of which were against players higher ranked than Savinykh. Take the American to win through here and break her sequence.
Prediction: Di Lorenzo in 3

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Shuai Zhang vs Cristina Bucsa

Head to Head: never played

The experienced Chinese player is playing her first tournament on the dirt since Roland-Garros and it would be fair to say it is not her favourite surface. Having tried to maximize the short grass court season she must now attempt to break the tie in an 80-80 win-loss record on clay in her career.

Bucsa, in the fine tradition of Romanian players, seems to enjoy the clay. She has played the majority of her career matches on the dirt and has a good winning percentage on it too. I expect her comfort on the surface and her tailored game to it will be enough to see her through against the higher ranked Zhang.
Prediction: Bucsa in 3

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