The first half of the second round of the WTA Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose takes place Wednesday, with competitive matchups between players fighting for a good result and rankings points. Three veterans are in action looking to right the ship after a tough year so far, two of them, Magda Linette and Petra Martic will face off, while American Alison Riske plays young qualifier Ana Konjuh. The two top players in action are American Madison Keys, looking to get back in the top-10, who takes on Shuai Zhang, and Russian Daria Kasatkina who plays Caroline Garcia. All matches are predicted below in what should be an exciting day on the American hard courts.
WTA San Jose Day 3 Predictions
Madison Keys vs Shuai Zhang
Head-to-head: 4-2 Zhang
Both players are familiar with each other, facing off for the seventh time, but they have played just once since 2016 and that match was on clay. Zhang has been a solid hard court player in her career, but before her first round win she had lost seven straight on the surface. Keys will be well-rested after not playing since her fourth-round run at Wimbledon, and she will be happy to return to the hard court where she has had most of her success. Keys did not have the best start to her hard court season in 2021, but she showed her abilities with a dominant win over Olympic champion Belinda Bencic. Zhang is 32, and does not move quite as well as a younger player, which will make Keys’ powerful forehand even harder to deal with. Keys will enjoy her return to the hard courts, and give Zhang too much to handle.
Prediction: Keys in 2
Magda Linette vs Petra Martic
Head-to-head: 2-0 Linette
Both veterans are coming in hoping for a good result after not playing up to their full abilities this year, with both players posting losing records. Martic lost her last three matches on hard court before her first-round win here and is coming off a summer where she went just 2-3 on the grass. Linette, like Martic, played her best on clay this year–but she also scored a career win at Wimbledon against Elina Svitolina. The Pole has won both of their matchups, though both were tight three-setters. Linette has shown that she can find a way to win recently better than Martic, and though her record is not great recently, she has still been able to score a decent number of wins. This match will be similar, with Linette doing just enough to win a close one.
Prediction: Linette in 3
Alison Riske vs Ana Konjuh
Riske is seeded against the qualifier Konjuh and looks like the favorite on paper due to the large ranking difference between the two. Each player has been playing opposite of their ranking, though. World #37 Riske struggled all year, earning just two wins in nine matches. Konjuh, meanwhile, has compiled a respectable 29-16 record. Riske has not played much tennis this year, and her poor form at the end of 2020 has unfortunately carried into 2021. Konjuh is in better form and has momentum after winning both her qualifying matches in straight sets before her first round victory. Riske is talented but when she is off and makes errors, she can either beat herself or will have to adjust from her powerful shots that helped her be a real threat at her peak. Riske has simply not been competitive recently, and Konjuh has played good tennis and will have the edge in this match.
Prediction: Konjuh in 3
Daria Kasatkina vs Caroline Garcia
Head-to-head: 1-0 Garcia
Kasatkina will be excited to get back to the hard courts. She has already captured two titles this year on the surface, while adding another final on grass. After playing the Olympics, Garcia will be glad to continue to play on hard after a mediocre summer. Garcia has had an up-and-down year, though her signature win of 2021 came on the hard courts in Doha against Angelique Kerber. Garcia won their only matchup easily on hard courts, but it came back in 2019. Kasatkina is older and has grown significantly as a player since then. The Russian boasts a strong well-rounded game and tends to force her opponents to play well enough to beat her by their own merit. Garcia simply does not have the game to do that, so Kasatkina should have no problem winning the match.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 2
Main Photo from Getty.