Two women remain in Linz and few would have picked Alison Riske and Jaqueline Cristian to be those women. Both benefited from retirements or withdrawals, Cristian doing so in several rounds. Nevertheless, the tennis they have played has been quality and bodes well for a great final. As ever, we try and predict who should come out on top and lift the trophy in our WTA Linz final prediction.
WTA Linz Final Prediction
Alison Riske vs Jaqueline Cristian
Head-to-head: First meeting
Cristian has done superbly well to make the finals in Linz as a lucky loser. There is history with lucky losers here as well, with Coco Gauff winning the last edition of this tournament as a lucky loser as well. The Belgian has a big and aggressive game that is immensely well suited to the conditions in Linz. She has easy power off both wings and is a good mover around the court. She will need to maintain her aggression and back her power if she is to win the trophy here. On the basis of what I’ve seen from Cristian she comes into this match as the favourite. However, Alison Riske is a fierce competitor and an extremely talented tennis player who appears to be slowly rediscovering her best form as the year draws to a close.
The American had a superb 2019 campaign but – like many others – struggled to follow that up in a difficult 2020 season for all in the tennis world. Still, the American’s awkward style and surprisingly powerful and skidding groundstrokes make her a handful on any surface with a bit of pace to it and the Linz hard courts certainly have that. Riske will need to serve well to avoid coming under pressure in this match. If she can do that she gives herself a fighting chance here. I think this will go the distance with Cristian’s power proving to much to handle in a deciding set. That being said, don’t be surprised if the Riske of old turns up and takes this final by storm.
Prediction: Cristian in 3
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