It is the battle of the top seeded players in the final of the WTA Astana Open in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Probably the final that the organizers and the Kazakh public here hoping for with the home hope against her closest rival in the WTA rankings.
WTA Nur-Sultan Final Preview
Yulia Putintseva vs Alison Van Uytvanck
Previous Meetings: Putintseva 4-0 Van Uytvanck
Finals are meant to be very difficult to predict. Obviously both players come in to the match in good form having beaten the rest of their opponents. This usually leads to a situation in which it is difficult to separate them.
It doesn’t feel like this is the case in this final, though. Putintseva has beaten the Belgian every time they have played. This includes the most recent occasion which was this year on a hard court, so that is relevant here. Add in the fact that the Kazakh is on home soil and has thrived here, winning her last six matches in her home country and everything points in her direction.
Things are rarely as straightforward as that, though. It is fair to say that Van Uytvanck has been getting closer to Putintseva in their matches. The last two have gone to three sets and the most recent was the closest of all. The Belgian also has exactly the same impressive record this week as Putintseva, only dropping one set en route to the final.
However, even this week’s stats slightly point towards a home win. Putintseva has held more regularly and broken her opponents more often than Van Uytvanck this week. Weighing all of the evidence and form I am going to side with a Putintseva victory, but with an element of drama. Van Uytvanck will get on top at some stage with her powerful game so the home crowd will have their part to play.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Main Photo from Getty.