WTA Istanbul Day 1 Predictions Including Elise Mertens vs Rebecca Peterson

Sorana Cirstea in action ahead of the WTA Istanbul Cup.
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There should be plenty of entertaining action on day one at the WTA Istanbul Cup, with a number of star players – including the top two seeds – set to take to the courts in Turkey’s second city. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match. But who will book their place in the second round?

WTA Istanbul Day 1 Predictions

Elise Mertens vs Rebecca Peterson

Head-to-head: Mertens 3-0 Peterson

By the high standards Elise Mertens has set over the course of her career, it has been a poor start to 2022. She has won only nine matches, losing seven, with her best effort so far a fourth-round showing at the Australian Open. She will doubtless be looking to improve on that in the coming weeks starting at the WTA Istanbul Cup, where she reached the final last season. However, she has been handed a potentially difficult first-round match against Rebecca Peterson.

The Swede is at her best on the clay and, although she has lost all three of her previous meetings with Mertens, she pushed her to the limit when they last played at the US Open last season before losing 6-3 6-7 6-7. She has also had more recent clay-court match practice than the Belgian after reaching the second round in Bogota two weeks ago. But she did not play particularly well there and, unless she improves sharply in Istanbul, Mertens should have too much.

Prediction: Mertens in 3
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Jil Teichmann vs Greet Minnen

Head-to-head: first meeting

Jil Teichmann found some form in the Middle East, reaching the quarterfinals in Dubai as a qualifier and the third round in Qatar, but she was unable to back that up during the Sunshine Double, losing in the first round in Indian Wells and Miami. But returning to her preferred clay should present a chance to get back to winning ways for the Swiss. Standing between her and a place in the second round is Belgium’s Greet Minnen, also looking to get back to  winning ways.

Minnen has played some excellent tennis at ITF-level so far this season, winning the title in Altenkirchen and reaching the final in Nur-Sultan, but she too lost first round in both Indian Wells and Miami. She also cannot match Teichmann’s record at WTA-level or on this surface. Minnen has been making impressive strides and the future looks bright. But Teichmann is further along in her development and, at this point, is the better player. Expect that to be reflected in the scoreline.

Prediction: Teichmann in 2
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Alison van Uytvanck vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Head-to-head: Tomljanovic 3-1 van Uytvanck

This has the makings of an entertaining match. Alison van Uytvanck is not one of the WTA Tour’s more consistent performers, but the Belgian’s aggressive approach ensures she is amongst its most watchable players. Ajla Tomljanovic generally adopts a more risk-averse approach, trusting in her ability to keep her opponents on the move before pulling the trigger at the most opportune moment. It has served her well against van Uytvanck in the past.

The Australian has won three of their four previous meetings, including at this event in 2018. She also comes into this match in better form than van Uytvanck, though neither of them have been pulling up any trees of late, and looks better suited to the conditions at the WTA Istanbul Cup. Significantly, she also has some clay-court tennis under her belt after reaching the second round in Charleston. There isn’t a great deal in this, but expect Tomljanovic to just about have the edge.

Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3
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Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs Sorana Cirstea

Head-to-head: first meeting

Sorana Cirstea enjoyed one of the finest weeks of her career last season in Istanbul, storming to her second tour-level title with victories over the likes of Anastasia Potapova, Marta Kostyuk and Mertens. She has not quite hit her straps so far this season, winning just 11 of her first 19 matches and reaching only one semifinal (at the WTA Lyon Open). But there have still been enough good results to suggest that the Romanian could put together some deep runs back on her preferred clay.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich, meanwhile, has gone an impressive 15-7 so far in 2022, reaching the quarterfinals in St Petersburg, the second round in Qatar as a qualifier and the fourth round in Miami. However, she is not as comfortable on the clay as Cirstea. The Romanian gives very little away from the baseline and has the footspeed to track down most of what her opponents throw at her on slower surfaces. Expect her to grind Sasnovich down here.

Prediction: Cirstea in 2

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