There is a marquee lineup at the WTA 250 event in Luxembourg on Thursday. All top three seeds will be in action, including Olympic Gold Medalist Belinda Bencic. We offer our predictions of all those matches in this article. Who will advance?
WTA Luxembourg Open Day 4 Predictions
Jelena Ostapenko vs Arianne Hartono
Head-to-head: first meeting
Ostapenko won the last staging of this event in 2019 before the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic last season. The Latvian’s title defense began in an emphatic fashion as she dismissed Jule Niemeier 6-2 6-2. It was certainly a welcome return to action for Ostapenko who was forced to miss the US Open due to undisclosed medical reasons. She will now face the relatively unknown world #300 Arianne Hartono. The Dutch qualifier picked up her first tour-level win on Tuesday after beating former Top 50 player Anna-Lena Friedsam in a third set tiebreak. There were major question marks surrounding Ostapenko’s fitness prior to her first-round match against the power-hitting Niemeier. But having put those doubts to bed, this should be another routine win in the books for the second seed.
Prediction: Ostapenko in 2
Elise Mertens vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
Head-to-head: Mertens 1-3 Sasnovich
Mertens’ head-to-head record against Sasnovich is particularly striking considering she has been the higher-ranked opponent in each of their matchups. But last season’s defeat came in the very first tournament post-COVID hiatus in Palermo and it was feasible she would lose quite easily. Mertens, however, will need to be vigilant despite her recent good form. If she stays grounded early on, she can quickly extinguish Sasnovich’s hopes of mastering the fourth win in their series.
Prediction: Mertens in 2
Belinda Bencic vs Zarina Diyas
Head-to-head: Bencic 1-0 Diyas
Belinda Bencic will be keen to continue her stellar summer when she returns to Luxembourg for the first time in three years. No player has won more matches on hard courts in the past couple of months than Bencic. The Swiss will enter this second-round match as a colossal favorite to defeat Zarina Diyas. The Kazakh came through a fluctuating three-set win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the opening round. But Diyas hasn’t beaten a Top 20 player in five tries this season and that includes the Miami match against Bencic earlier this year. The top seed is poised to advance unscathed into the quarterfinal.
Prediction: Bencic in 2
Main Photo from Getty.