WTA Astana Day 2 Predictions Including Ana Konjuh vs Anna Blinkova

Clara Burel in action ahead of the WTA Astana Open.

Two of Kazakhstan’s biggest hopes at the inaugural edition of the WTA Astana Open will kick-start their campaigns on Tuesday on what should be a very entertaining day of tennis in Nur-Sultan. There are ten matches in total on the schedule and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match. But who will come out on top? Our predictions for the rest of the day’s matches are split between two other articles. One features Yulia Putintseva vs Ekaterine Gorgodze, and the other highlights Anna Danilina vs Kristina Mladenovic.

WTA Astana Day 2 Predictions

(5) Ana Konjuh vs Anna Blinkova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Inconsistency continues to plague Ana Konjuh. The Croatian’s best tennis remains a threat to most players on tour, but her best tennis isn’t seen often enough. Still, the 23-year-old should have little trouble clearing the first hurdle at the WTA Astana Open when she faces Anna Blinkova. Konjuh is the superior player: more powerful from the back of the court, better touch and a stronger serve. Expect Konjuh to claim a fairly comfortable win here, assuming she adjusts to the conditions and plays somewhere close to her best.

Prediction: Konjuh in 2
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Zarina Diyas vs Anastasia Zakharova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Zarina Diyas has had another disappointing season. The Kazakh is languishing at #109 in the world, far from her career high ranking of #31. Perhaps playing in her hometown will be the spark Diyas needs to recapture some better form. Anastasia Zakharova has successfully progressed through the qualifying draw at three WTA events in as many weeks. Zakharova was untroubled during her two matches in the qualifying draw, claiming straight set wins over Ekaterina Kazionova and Ekaterina Yashina. Zakharova is still yet to win a main draw match at a tour level event. I’ll give Diyas the benefit of the doubt here, she should be experienced enough to get through this one with the added motivation of playing at her hometown event.

Prediction: Diyas in 3
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(8) Clara Burel vs Mandy Minella

Head-to-head: 

A match-up between two players at very different stages of their respective careers. At 20 years of age Clara Burel sits at a career high ranking of #79 having just reached the final of an ITF 80K event in Germany last week on clay. It will be a quick turnaround for the Frenchwoman, switching surfaces and travelling quite some distance to compete in Nur-Sultan. At 35 years of age this will be Mandy Minella’s final season.

Minella finally managed to win a main draw match at her home event in Luxembourg a couple of weeks ago, defeating Varvara Gracheva in straight sets but succumbing to Alize Cornet in straight sets in the next round. Burel is clearly the better player at the moment, but it won’t be easy for her to adjust to the conditions in such a quick time. Expect Burel to be good enough to beat a fading Minella.

Prediction: Burel in 2

Main photo:
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