First round action continues on Tuesday at the WTA 250 level TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul. A busy day is scheduled with a plethora of interesting matchups set to take place at the Istanbul Tennis Centre. The fourth seed Anhelina Kalinina faces a tough test against 2019 champion Petra Martic, whilst Magda Linette faces Yulia Putintseva in what promises to be an entertaining clash. Let’s take a closer look at those matches and a couple of others, who will advance to the second round in Istanbul?
WTA Istanbul Day 2 Predictions
Nuria Parrizas-Diaz vs Martina Trevisan
H2H: First meeting.
Nuria Parrizas-Diaz currently sits at a career high ranking of #54 in the world despite back-to-back first round exits in Indian Wells and Miami. The Spaniard achieved the best result of her career earlier last month with a semifinal showing Monterrey and has generally played the best tennis of her career over the last 12 months. The Spaniard is very comfortable on the red dirt, one of the biggest titles of her career came on the red clay at the 125K event in Bastad, Sweden last year. It will be interesting to see what kind of results the 30-year-old can achieve during the clay court swing.
Martina Trevisan famously reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals via the qualifying draw in 2020 but has failed to make an impact at the tour level since then. The Italian remains a threat at the lower levels, especially on clay at 125K and ITF events but has been disappointing at tour level events.
There’s a lot of similarities between these two. Both have amassed the majority of their current points at the lower levels, both are very comfortable on the red clay. Parrizas-Diaz has generally played at a higher level in recent times and is the more consistent of the two. However, Trevisan is equally capable in these conditions and is arguably the better player when she’s at her best. That makes this a tough match to predict, I’ll give the slight edge to the Spaniard based on form.
Prediction: Parrizas-Diaz in 3
Varvara Gracheva vs Marie Bouzkova
H2H: First meeting.
Marie Bouzkova put together a very, very solid block of form over the last couple of months. A runner-up appearance in Guadalajara was followed by a quarterfinal showing in Monterrey. The Czech successfully qualified for the main draw in Indian Wells and Miami, reaching the third round in Indian Wells and the second round in Miami. Overall, she amassed 13 victories through those 4 events, impressive stuff.
Varvara Gracheva’s recent form is far less impressive. Stepping back to the lower levels over the last few weeks hasn’t helped Gracheva, most recently losing to Yuliya Hatouka in the second round of an ITF event in Portugal where she was the top seed.
Clay isn’t Bouzkova’s best surface, but she’s certainly capable on the surface given her great movement and consistent style. The Czech heads into this opening round clash in far better form than her opponent and is generally the better player in most aspects. All signs point to a commanding Bouzkova victory, expect her to be far too solid.
Prediction: Bouzkova in 2
Anhelina Kalinina vs Petra Martic
H2H: First meeting.
Anhelina Kalinina is currently at a career high ranking of #36 in the world. The Ukrainian is still a relatively unknown player to the majority despite her lofty ranking. The 25-year-old made a nice start to her clay court season in Charleston where she reached the quarterfinals. It’s been a good month for Kalinina who reached the fourth round of the Miami Open a few weeks ago. Clay is definitely Kalinina’s favourite surface, her best tour level result came on the red first last year in Budapest where she reached the final.
Petra Martic finally showed signs of her former self in Indian Wells last month where she reached the quarterfinals, easily her best result in recent times. Martic has otherwise struggled at the tour level over the last 12 months but is always a threat thanks to her great variety, especially on a clay court. Martic won her first and only WTA singles title in Istanbul in 2019 and will be hoping a return to the venue can help her build momentum.
Kalinina heads into this clash as the favourite based on her greater consistency over an extended period of time. However, Martic is more than capable in this matchup, especially at this venue. I’m sensing an upset here, Martic seems to thrive as an underdog and is clearly capable of playing some of her best tennis at this venue.
Prediction: Martic in 3
Magda Linette vs Yulia Putintseva
H2H: Linette 4-1.
Magda Linette hasn’t made a great start to 2022, failing to win back-to-back matches through the first three months of the year. The Pole broke that record as she started her clay court campaign with a run to the quarterfinals in Charleston. Linette secured notable wins over Leylah Fernandez and Kaia Kanepi during that run. Putintseva’s 2022 has been equally unimpressive, but she is always a much greater threat on the red clay as a two-time former quarterfinalist at Roland Garros.
Linette’s 4-1 head-to-head record over Putintseva is a surprising one given Putintseva started as the favourite in all five of the previous meetings between the pair. Linette has won both the previous meetings between the pair on a clay court, including a 6-3 6-3 win last year in Strasbourg in their most recent clash.
Putintseva is generally the better player on a clay court. But clearly Putintseva doesn’t enjoy this matchup. If Linette is patient and finds her range when attacking she is definitely a problematic matchup for Putintseva on any surface. I’ll side with Putintseva on this occasion, the conditions in Istanbul are especially heavy which will make Linette’s job much tougher. Expect Putintseva to grind her way to victory.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Main Photo from Getty.