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WTA Portoroz Day 2 Predictions Including Jaqueline Cristian vs Yulia Putintseva

Anhelina Kalinina in action prior to the WTA Portoroz Open.

The exciting action should continue on day two at the WTA Portoroz Open with 12 intriguing first-round matches on the slate on Slovenia’s Adriatic coast. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every scheduled match, including Cristiana Ferrando vs Tamara Zidansek and Petra Martic vs Kaja Juvan. But who will secure their spot in the second round?

WTA Portoroz Day 2 Predictions

Rebecca Peterson vs Lucia Bronzetti

Head-to-head: first meeting

After a miserable 2020 campaign, Rebecca Peterson has, to a degree, turned things around this year. The Swede arrives at the WTA Portoroz Open with a 17-16 record for the season that, whilst far from spectacular, is solid enough and her confidence has surely been boosted by a productive spell in the USA. However, she looks set to have her work cut out for her against Lucia Bronzetti, who is in the midst of a breakthrough season and has gone 48-18 this year, albeit playing mostly below WTA-level.

Her form has also tailed off of late. She lost in the first round of qualifying at the US Open to Valentini Grammatikopoulou and followed that with second-round defeats on clay in Prague and Karlsruhe. That was hardly the ideal preparation for this tournament, but she bounced back with two good wins in the qualifying over Fanny Stollar and Samantha Murray. Peterson is a cut above that opposition though and the Swede should have just about too much for Bronzetti.

Prediction: Peterson in 3
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Tereza Martincova vs Kristina Kucova

Head-to-head: Martincova 1-1 Kucova

Kristina Kucova will surely be in a confident mood. The Slovakian has a very impressive summer, reaching the final on clay at the WTA Gdynia Open, as well the quarterfinals in Cluj and the second round at the US Open as a lucky loser. Tereza Martincova posted a standout result of her own by reaching the final on home turf in Prague. But she offered little resistance to her compatriot Barbora Krejcikova there, losing 2-6 0-6 and she has struggled to stay fit since.

She was unable to finish matches in Montreal and Chicago, and the Czech also suffered a heavy defeat  at the hands of Victoria Azarenka in the first round at the US Open. Martincova can expect to be rather more competitive here, however, and she may draw confidence from having beaten Kucova in their only previous hard-court meeting, which came in 2019 at the Australian Open. There was little between the pair that day and this may be similarly close. But Martincova’s game had more upside then and has more upside now.

Prediction: Martincova in 3
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Jaqueline Cristian vs Yulia Putintseva

Head-to-head: first meeting

There is no doubt which player has the advantage in terms of experience coming into this match. Yulia Putintseva has played in three Grand Slam quarterfinals, amassed comfortably over $5 million in prize money and won two WTA titles. Jaqueline Cristian, in contrast, is yet to break into the top 100, has earned less than a tenth of her opponent’s prize-money haul and she is still waiting to make her debut at the four Majors. But her chances shouldn’t be written off here.

She has been in solid form of late, reaching the final round of qualifying at the US Open after victories over Chloe Pacquet and Francesca Jones and she then put together a semifinal run on the clay in Karlsruhe. Putintseva, meanwhile, has been playing indifferent tennis and has won just one of her last four matches. Still, this is a very big gap in terms of ability and experience for Cristian to bridge. She may well come close to doing it, but expect Putintseva to prove too strong in the end.

Prediction: Putintseva in 3
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Sara Errani vs Anhelina Kalinina

Head-to-head: first meeting

Sara Errani’s commitment is beyond question, but the Italian is a shadow of the player who reached the final at the French Open in 2012 (as well as the quarterfinals in Melbourne and the last four in New York). Her quality and experience can still take her to the occasional win, particularly on her preferred clay, but a return to the top 100 looks an increasingly unlikely prospect for the Italian. Anhelina Kalinina, in contrast, is in the midst of a career-best season.

She arrives at the WTA Portoroz Open at a career-high world #64, largely courtesy of an excellent run to the final in Budapest and twin triumphs at ITF-level in Montpellier and Contrexeville. She posted all three results on her preferred clay and has looked rather less impressive on hard courts, but did win her first Grand Slam match at the US Open by beating Mayar Sherif. With Errani also far more comfortable on the clay, this looks like winnable match for the Ukrainian.

Prediction: Kalinina in 2

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