The rest of second round matches take place on Day 4 of the WTA Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose with an impressive showcase. Top seed Elise Mertens plays her first match in San Jose against Kristina Mladenovic, who is looking for a resurgence. Young American wild card Claire Liu is looking to build on her first round upset win and has another test against Elena Rybakina–who recently reached the Bronze Medal match at the Olympics. Ajla Tomljanovic takes on Yulia Putintseva in a match that could go either way, and will likely be the tightest match of the day. Finally, the headline match is the all-American showdown between US Open champion Sloane Stephens looking to regain that old form, and Danielle Collins who is one of the hottest American players right now. It should be a fun day in San Jose, where a thrilling quarterfinal lineup will be finalized.
WTA San Jose Day 4 Predictions
Elise Mertens vs Kristina Mladenovic
Head-to-head: 3-2 Mladeonvic
While Mladenovic leads the head-to-head, they have played just once since 2018. Mertens won that match, and Mladenovic is not currently the player she once was. Though Mertens has seen her results trail off a bit recently, she is a deserving top seed here. Her game is strong on hard courts and she won the Gippsland Trophy title in Melbourne this year. It was her sixth career title, four of which have come on hard courts. Mladenovic has not been great this year, and her big serve has carried her to a decent number of wins, but she has struggled to have enough weapons to beat higher-quality players like Mertens. Mertens will throw too much at Mladenovic for her to handle, and though she had a disappointing first round loss at the Olympics, she will be well-rested and ready for a deep run in San Jose.
Prediction: Mertens in 2
Claire Liu vs Elena Rybakina
Head-to-head: 1-0 Rybakina
Liu took advantage of her wild card with an impressive three set win in the first round over Dayana Yastremska. She faces a tougher opponent in Rybakina, who is fresh off an Olympic semifinal run and beat Liu in straight sets at Wimbledon this year. Rybakina has had a string of good results this year, though she did struggle a bit during the early season hard court swing. Liu has a good record on the year, but most of her matches have been played at the Futures level and in qualifying. Liu will have to play with nothing to lose and take advantage of potential fatigue after Rybakina’s deep Olympic run and travel. That should not be enough to hamper Rybakina, as Liu has played few players of her caliber. The American will not be able to put up enough of a fight to make it uncomfortable for the Russian.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2
Ajla Tomljanovic vs Yulia Putintseva
Head-to-head: 2-1 Putintseva
Putintseva had a rough summer, but last year’s US Open quarterfinalist looks to be headed in the right direction with her convincing first round win over a tricky opponent in Donna Vekic. Tomljanovic is enjoying some of the best tennis of her career, highlighted by a Wimbledon quarterfinal. The match will be a clash of styles. The tall Australian looks to hold her serve against a good returner in Putintseva. She will have to serve much better than her first round match against Amanda Anisimova, where she won just 43% of second serve points and was broken six times in 15 service games. Putintseva will take advantage of that and will take care of business enough on her serve to have the edge in the match. Tomljanovic is a good enough player that she will take a set, but will not be able to hold enough to win the match.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Sloane Stephens vs Danielle Collins
Head-to-head: first meeting
Collins is coming in playing great tennis. She won her first career title a couple weeks ago in Palermo. She had no problem transitioning to hard courts, scoring a convincing first round win over Shelby Rogers in straight sets. Stephens has been on and off her whole career, and this year seems like an off year for her. She is always a threat to win or lose any match, as evidenced at Wimbledon. There, she beat former champion Petra Kvitova in straight sets then lost to wild card Luidmila Samsonova. This match is sure to be a shootout between the two hard hitting American baseliners. Winners to errors on groundstrokes will be the determining factor, and at the end of the day Collins has been playing more solid tennis recently. She will limit her mistakes to get past Stephens.
Prediction: Collins in 2
Main Photo from Getty.