A few very close matches defined Day 2 at the WTA Linz Open. The Austrian hopes would have been dashed tough as both local wild cards again failed to win a set in their home tournament. The big players begin their campaigns though on Day 3, but who will reach the next round? We predict all eight matches on the day. Four are in this article, and four in a separate article.
WTA Linz Day 3 Predictions
Alison Van Uytvanck vs Lesia Tsurenko
Head-to-head: Tsurenko 2-0 Van Uytvanck
A very contrasting opening round for these players. Van Uytvanck was able to put away the wild card Sinja Kraus with ease, whereas Tsurenko really battled Ekaterina Alexandrova all the way. That might be to the Ukrainian’s advantage though because she is now battle hardened for the week. Tsurenko also boasts a winning record against the Belgian, albeit from a few seasons ago, but she seems to be approaching her best again and I like her chances here.
Prediction: Tsurenko in 2
Danielle Collins vs Greet Minnen
Head-to-head: First meeting
For me this is one of the most straightforward predictions of the day. The American has a lot going in her favor in this matchup. Collins boasts the better hold and break percentages across the year on the WTA Tour and has had some really solid form in the last few months. The only concern is her lack of matches indoors on the WTA Tour, this will actually be her very first tour match in such conditions. However, she played indoors in the Billie Jean King Cup last week and went three wins out of three so that should inspire her. Minnen pulled out a very impressive performance against Oceane Dodin in the opening round but this should be a step too far for the Belgian.
Prediction: Collins in 2
Anhelina Kalinina vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head-to-head: First meeting
Both of these players have had very good years and are on an upward trajectory in their careers. Kudermetova comes here on the back of a morale boosting team victory for Russia in the BJK Cup, however she didn’t play a singles match in the tournament. Her form is still good though–defeating teammate Ludmilla Samsonova in Indian Wells is a recent highlight. Kalinina though is a player on a mission at the moment. She has flown up the rankings in 2021 and defeated Martina Trevisan with a vague level of comfort in the opening round. This is a very tough match to call but I think that Kudermetova has the higher ceiling of the two players at the moment and despite some rustiness I will favour the Russian here.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 3
Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs Simona Halep
Head-to-head: Sasnovich 1-1 Halep
These two met in the last 32 of Indian Wells this year where the Belarusian caused an upset in straight sets. However, it would be fair to say that Halep was not fully fit at that stage. The Romanian has since reached the final in Cluj and got more matches under her belt. Though indoors is not her favorite set of conditions I would still expect a more tuned up Halep to get the better of Sasnovich. However, I still expect it to be quite close, potentially even over three sets.
Prediction: Halep in 3
Main Photo from Getty.