The drama of the 2021 US Open is now firmly behind us. Emma Raducanu achieved incredible things over the last week but the WTA tour moves on and so must we. Monday’s action in Luxembourg saw three seeds advance comfortably. Those in action on Tuesday will hope to follow suit. As ever, we assess how the players taking to the court will fare in our WTA Luxembourg Open Day 2 predictions, split between this and a second article.
WTA Luxembourg Open Day 2 Predictions
Lesia Tsurenko vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
Head-to-head: 1 – 1
Lesia Tsurenko’s slow but steady decline on the WTA tour continues and the Ukrainian now sits outside the top 150 in the game. She has beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich once before, but that match was in 2014 and holds little relevance now. Their other meeting was in January and the Belarusian was victorious there in three sets. Tsurenko won two qualifying matches to book her place in the main draw meaning she will have some momentum. However, Sasnovich is the better player and is playing the better tennis. She should advance relatively comfortably here.
Prediction: Sasnovich in 2
Arianne Hartono vs Anna-Lena Friedsam
Head-to-head: First meeting
This is an almost unheard of opportunity for Arianne Hartono. The Dutch player is ranked 300 in the world and has played almost exclusively on the ITF circuit throughout her career. By contrast, Anna-Lena Friedsam has enjoyed some success on the WTA tour but is still trying to return to her pre-injury levels. We can put that slight decline to the side here though as the German is clearly the better player in this matchup and won’t need her best to win. Hartono has done very well to make a main draw but it would be a huge surprise if she does any more than that in Luxembourg.
Prediction: Friedsam in 2
Varvara Gracheva vs Mandy Minella
Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Minella
Mandy Minella – Luxembourg’s very own – appears to be massively outgunned here. Varvara Gracheva is ranked some 160 places above her. She’s also is having a breakout year on the tour, However, the two have met this year and Minella won that match in straight sets. That fact makes this match interesting. A home court advantage and the knowledge that she beat her opponent recently may well give Minella enough to trouble the Russian here. I expect Gracheva to play enough good tennis for the win here, but I do think it will go the distance.
Prediction: Gracheva in 3
Marketa Vondrousova vs Alison Van Uytvanck
Head-to-head: 2 – 1 Vondrousova
This is a tantalising match so early on in the tournament. Alison Van Uytvanck doesn’t have the same level of talent as Marketa Vondrousova but is certainly no slouch. That is particularly true on indoor hard courts, where her flat ground strokes and aggressive tennis are heavily rewarded. Vondrousova will need to be able to upset the Belgian’s rhythm here or else she may well struggle to win this match as I’m not sure she can live with Van Uytvanck’s power. I think this will go the distance and we may well have an early upset on our hands her if the Belgian can find her range early.
Prediction: Van Uytvanck in 3
Main Photo from Getty.