WTA Cincinnati Day 3 Predictions Including Karolina Pliskova vs Yulia Putintseva

Elise Mertens in action at the WTA Cincinnati Open.

There should be plenty of entertaining action on day three at the WTA Cincinnati Open with a number of star names set to take to the court in Ohio. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Cori Gauff vs Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina vs Angelique Kerber and Ons Jabeur vs Iga Swiatek. But who will advance?

WTA Cincinnati Day 3 Predictions

Karolina Pliskova vs Yulia Putintseva

Head-to-head: Pliskova 4-0 Putintseva

Karolina Pliskova was enjoying a superb run in Montreal before her title charge was brought to a halt by the Italian Camila Giorgi. But with Giorgi having crashed out early in Cincinnati, Pliskova can rest easy on that score at least. Still, her second-round match may not be entirely straightforward. Yulia Putintseva is no stranger to pulling off upsets and looked sharp in thrashing the qualifier Zhang Shuai in the first round, dropping just two games.

The fiery 26-year-old Kazakh is one of the more accomplished defenders on the WTA Tour and can turn defence into attack with just one shot. Giorgi exposed the weak link in Pliskova’s game in the final in Montreal: her movement. Putintseva might well be able to do the same, allowing Pliskova no room to settle into rallies and bring her big shots to bear. Though Pliskova cannot be written off, Putintseva should have enough to pull off the upset.

Prediction: Putintseva in 3
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Simona Halep vs Jessica Pegula

Head-to-head: first meeting

Jessica Pegula reached the semifinals in Montreal and the American looked to be in  with a very good chance of winning the title. But her campaign was ended by eventual champion Giorgi in the semifinals. But when they were drawn against each other in the first round in Cincinnati, Pegula responded to that disappointment by crushing Giorgi 6-2 6-2 in a match that lasted just over an hour. Pegula will now be hoping to extend her campaign on home soil.

Simona Halep, meanwhile, is struggling to regain her form and fitness having been out injured since the Italian Open. She lost in her opener in Montreal in three sets and looked somewhat shaky through the first two sets against Magda Linette before finding her feet in the third to reach the second round with a 6-4 3-6 6-1 win. A superb shot-maker, the signs in that third set were very encouraging for the Romanian. And if she is back to her best, or something close to it, she should emerge as the victor here.

Prediction: Halep in 3
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Jelena Ostapenko vs Jennifer Brady

Head-to-head: Brady 2-1 Ostapenko

Jelena Ostapenko was going through a rough patch, losing three consecutive matches, before she arrived at the WTA Cincinnati Open. On the fast courts in Ohio, big hitters have the opportunity to show their mettle and Ostapenko will be hoping to do just that. There is no doubting her abilities, but she remains plagued by inconsistency. There was no sign of that in the first round as she defeated Tamara Zidansek in straight sets, but it remains to be seen whether that will last.

Jennifer Brady, another American hope this week, defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova in straight sets, 6-3 7-6, to make it to the second round. With her strong baseline game, Brady is well-suited to hard-court tennis, as she has demonstrated with runs to the semifinals last year in New York and the final in Melbourne in February. Ostapenko will need to be prepared for long, gruelling rallies to defeat Brady. Patience, however, is not typically one of her strengths. Brady could run away with this one.

Prediction: Brady in 2
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Elena Rybakina vs Elise Mertens

Head-to-head: Rybakina 1-1 Mertens

Elena Rybakina has had a fine season and will no doubt be looking to put together another deep run this week at the WTA Cincinnati Open. There have been some disappointing results for the Kazakh, including her first-round defeat last time out in Montreal, but she went some way to putting that right with a comprehensive 6-3 6-3 win over Samantha Stosur in her opener in Cincinnati. However, this looks like being a stern test of her credentials.

By the high standards she sets, Elise Mertens has been in indifferent form of late with only result of note a semifinal showing in San Jose. But she made an assured start in Cincinnati, beating Nadia Podoroska 6-3 6-4 in the first round. With both players strong servers and powerfully equipped off the ground this may well be the closest fought encounter on day three. But, provided she can keep her error count low, Mertens should be the player to reach the third round.

Prediction: Mertens in 3

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