WTA Astana Day 3 Predictions Including Ana Konjuh vs Anastasia Gasanova

Ana Konjuh in action ahead of the WTA Astana Open.
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All eight of the second-round matchups in Nur-Sultan will take place on Wednesday at the inaugural edition of the WTA Astana Open. Valuable rankings points are up for grabs in a wide-open draw with several players looking for a strong week to push their lowly rankings back into the right direction. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Zarina Diyas vs Rebecca Peterson.

WTA Astana Day 3 Predictions

Varvara Gracheva vs Lesia Tsurenko

Head-to-head: Tsurenko 1-0 Gracheva

Lesia Tsurenko hasn’t made a tour-level quarterfinal since she made the final of the Brisbane International in 2019. That could change here. Tsurenko eased through the qualifying draw in Nur-Sultan, beating Rutuja Bhosale and Urszula Radwanska in straight sets. Tsurenko had little trouble clearing the first round of the main draw, leading 6-1 3-1 against Vitalia Diatchenko before the Russian retired with an injury. Varvara Gracheva, meanwhile, navigated her way past Kristyna Pliskova 6-3 7-6 in the opening round. Gracheva continues her steady rise up the rankings helped by a strong US Open series where she reached the semifinals in Chicago and the third round of the US Open, her best result at a Major.

Tsurenko defeated Gracheva 0-6 6-4 6-2 at the Indian Wells 125K event last year in their only previous meeting. Tsurenko hasn’t been at her best for years, 2021 has been a forgettable one for the 32-year-old, but it seems like this could be the week where things finally click. Gracheva has an aggressive style and she will take charge whenever she gets the chance, but Tsurenko defends well and likes playing the role of the counterpuncher. On a slow court, Tsurenko can pull off the win here just as she did in their previous meeting.

Prediction: Tsurenko in 3
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Kristina Mladenovic vs Anastasia Potapova

Head-to-head: Potapova 2-1 Mladenovic

Kristina Mladenovic survived a big scare in her opening round match-up where she was forced to battle past world #287 Anna Danilina 6-4 6-7 6-4 in just under three hours. The Frenchwoman will need to produce an improved performance if she is to advance any further this week. Particularly because Anastasia Potapova has already beaten Mladenovic twice this year, both in straight sets. Their most recent meeting ended in a 7-6 6-2 win for Potapova in Montreal last month.

Potapova also made a shaky start at the WTA Astana Open but steadied the ship quickly enough to secure a 7-5 6-1 win over Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove. The Russian has been playing some solid tennis of late having arrived in Kazakhstan fresh from a decent week in Ostrava where she successfully moved through the qualifying draw, defeated Caroline Garcia and pushed Petra Kvitova to the sets. Potapova should have the edge here, she’s in better form and clearly knows how to handle this match-up.

Prediction: Potapova in 2
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Alison Van Uytvanck vs Anna-Lena Friedsam

Head-to-head: Friedsam 3-2 Van Uytvanck

Alison Van Uytvanck was forced to work harder than expected for her opening round victory over world #524 Zhibek Kulambayeva, ultimately prevailing 6-3 6-4 but didn’t have things all her own way. Meanwhile Friedsam was forced to battle from a set down to beat Arina Rodionova, a 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory. Friedsam has a 3-2 head-to-head record over Van Uytvanck, the German won their most recent meeting 4-6 7-6 6-4 in Hobart in 2018.

This looks like a fairly even match-up and neither player has been particularly impressive of late. Van Uytvanck is probably the better player thanks to her superior serve and firepower, at least when she is at her best, but clearly Friedsam is able to trouble the Belgian given the head-to-head record. I’ll give Van Uytvanck the benefit of the doubt because Friedsam has been in especially awful form heading into this tournament.

Prediction: Van Uytvanck in 3
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Ana Konjuh vs Anastasia Gasanova

Head-to-head: Gasanova 1-0 Konjuh

Ana Konjuh made a unconvincing start to her Nur-Sultan campaign as she defeated lucky-loser Urszula Radwanska 7-6 6-1. The opening set lasted over an hour and featured 9 double faults from the Croatian. Konjuh managed to harness her power better in the second set, showing better signs heading into her second round clash with Anastasia Gasanova. Gasanova eased through her opening round match, beating Yuliya Hatouka 6-1 6-1 in less than an hour.

Gasanova defeated Konjuh 6-4 6-3 in their only previous meeting, a 6-4 6-3 victory earlier this year in St. Petersburg. Gasanova was on a roll at that stage of the season, her form has deteriorated of late. Konjuh should be good enough to reverse that result, she is the better player, but inconsistency from the back of the court and a vulnerable second serve are always a concern for Konjuh.

Prediction: Konjuh in 3

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