WTA Cincinnati Day 2 Predictions Including Ashleigh Barty vs Heather Watson

Karolina Muchova in action ahead of the WTA Cincinnati Open.

With a host of star names – including the current and former holders of the #1 ranking – set to take to the court on day two at the WTA Cincinnati Open, there should be plenty of entertaining action. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Simona Halep vs Magda Linette, Hsieh Su-wei vs Cori Gauff and Ludmilla Samsonova vs Victoria Azarenka. But who will advance?

WTA Cincinnati Day 2 Predictions

Ashleigh Barty vs Heather Watson

Head-to-head: first meeting

Heather Watson’s aspirations of a career in the top 50 of the WTA rankings have been severely hampered by her bad luck with injuries. But the Briton remains capable of stringing together good runs and she has done just that to come through the qualifying with wins over Katie Volynets and Rebecca Peterson before battling past Aliaksandra Sasnovich in three sets in the first round. However, this match may well prove to be a challenge too far for the Briton.

Ashleigh Barty showed at the Tokyo Olympics that she is not invulnerable, losing to Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets in the first round, but the Australian is the deserving holder of the world #1 ranking, a position she reinforced by winning the title at Wimbledon. It remains to be seen whether her court craft will serve her as well on the North American asphalt as it did on the grass in SW19, but it is hard to see her being outfoxed or overpowered by Watson.

Prediction: Barty in 2
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Catherine McNally vs Dayana Yastremska

Head-to-head: first meeting

Having missed the first two thirds of the season after failing a drugs test, only to have the ban overturned and the charges cleared, one suspects that the rest of 2021 will be something of a free hit for Dayana Yastremska. Never the most consistent of players, Yastremska has showed flashes of her best tennis, but has looked off the pace for the most part so far, losing in the first round in both San Jose and Montreal ahead of the WTA Cincinnati Open.

Catherine McNally, meanwhile, has not yet convinced at tour-level. The American has time very much on her side at just 19, but still looks some way short of making a decisive breakthrough on the biggest stage. With neither player in particularly sparkling form, this may not be the highest quality match of the day. But Yastremska has the advantage in experience and has probably been playing the better tennis of late. She should have just about enough here.

Prediction: Yastremska in 3
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Johanna Konta vs Karolina Muchova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Karolina Muchova has had an excellent year, highlighted by a run to the semifinals at the Australian Open in February and to the last eight at Wimbledon in July. She was not particularly consistent in between, however, and that trend continued on her return to action in Montreal, where she lost in the first set to the French qualifier Oceane Dodin. But this looks like a good opportunity for the Czech to get back to winning ways.

Johanna Konta is a fine player on her day, but the Briton has been struggling to stay fit this season and was forced to pull out of Montreal with a knee injury. That does not inspire great confidence in her chances at the WTA Cincinnati Open. Both like to play on the front foot. Konta is the bigger hitter of the two, but Muchova can call upon greater variety and she is also one of the more accomplished players in the forecourt. And, most crucially of all, she is fully fit.

Prediction: Muchova in 2

Main photo:
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