The remainder of the second-round matchups will be completed on day 4 of the WTA 250 level TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul. Five places in the quarterfinals will be up for grabs at the Istanbul Tennis Centre. Some of the top players in the field will be in action on Thursday including Ajla Tomljanovic, Sara Sorribes Tormo and the third seeded Veronika Kudermetova who faces a tough test against Romanian qualifier Ana Bogdan. Who will advance to the final eight?
WTA Istanbul Day 4 Predictions
(7) Sara Sorribes Tormo vs. Varvara Gracheva
H2H: Gracheva 1-0.
Sara Sorribes Tormo easily navigated through a potentially tough opening round test against Wang Qiang with a 6-3 6-2 victory. The 25-year-old is yet to reach the heights she reached in a career best season in 2021, perhaps those results will come during the European clay court swing. Meanwhile, Varvara Gracheva claimed one of her biggest wins this year as she defeated Marie Bouzkova 6-3 7-5 in the opening round in Istanbul.
Gracheva upset Sorribes Tormo 6-4 5-7 7-6 at the opening round stage in Tenerife last year in the only previous meeting between the pair. A surprising result at the time, but the Spaniard would fancy her chances of reversing that result on the red clay of Istanbul. I too fancy her chances, the Spaniard looked good in the opening round and is definitely the more solid and reliable of the two in these conditions.
Prediction: Sorribes Tormo in 2.
(6) Ajla Tomljanovic vs. (Q) Lesia Tsurenko
H2H: Tomljanovic 1-0.
Ajla Tomljanovic made the most of a favourable opening round matchup in Istanbul as she defeated lucky-loser Jaimee Fourlis 6-1 6-3. Tomljanovic’s start to the season has been extremely unimpressive, mediocrity continues to plague her career. It’s been a surprisingly good week for Lesia Tsurenko who secured her spot in the main draw with a hard-fought 6-2 3-6 7-5 win over Jaimee Fourlis. The Ukrainian cruised through the first round of the main draw with a 6-0 6-2 thrashing of Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Tomljanovic defeated Tsurenko 3-6 6-4 7-5 at the Miami Open in 2018 in the only previous meeting between the pair. As that result suggests, there generally isn’t much to separate these two. At this stage of their respective careers, Tomljanovic should have the slight edge, but her recent form isn’t good. I’ll still give the benefit of the doubt to Tomljanovic who is generally more comfortable on the red clay than Tsurenko.
Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3.
Rebecca Peterson vs. Yulia Putintseva
H2H: Putintseva 3-2.
Yulia Putintseva defeated Maga Linette 7-6 6-4 to get through the opening round in Istanbul, a gutsy win over an opponent she has struggled with in the past. Rebecca Peterson advanced past the top seeded Elise Mertens when she Belgian retired down a set and 1-4.
Putintseva has won the last three matches between the pair, including a 6-2 6-4 win in Nur-Sultan last year in their most recent match. Putintseva leads the head-to-head series 2-1 on clay courts, including a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 7-6 win in Strasbourg last year. I suspect Putintseva will once again have the slight edge. Peterson is the one more likely to become error-prone in tight moments in what should be another close match between the pair.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3.
Petra Martic vs. (Q) Anastasia Potapova
H2H: Martic 1-0.
Petra Martic secured an impressive 3-6 7-5 7-6 win over the fourth seeded Anhelina Kalinina in the opening round. Another step in the right direction for Martic on the back of a run quarterfinals in Indian Wells after a bad start to the year. Anastasia Potapova has already won three matches this week having come through the qualifying draw. A 6-1 6-4 win over Nikola Bartunkova in the first round of the main draw was the easiest of the lot.
Martic defeated Potapova 3-6 6-3 6-4 at Wimbledon in 2019. I suspect Martic will once again have the edge in Istanbul. Martic’s variety and greater margin and control make her the favourite in this matchup, especially on a slower surface where she has a greater chance to make life difficult for Potapova.
Prediction: Martic in 3.
(3) Veronika Kudermetova vs. (Q) Ana Bogdan
H2H: Bogdan 3-1.
Veronika Kudermetova thrashed Marina Melnikova 6-2 6-0 in the opening round in Istanbul, a far greater test awaits against Ana Bogdan in the second round. Bogdan secured her spot in the second round with a 6-4 6-3 win over Anna Konjuh having already won a pair of straight set matches through the qualifying draw.
Bogdan has enjoyed good success in this matchup having won the first three meetings between the pair. However, Kudermetova defeated the Romanian 2-6 6-3 6-3 in Istanbul last year in their most recent match and looks to have a decent shot at securing an even more comfortable win on this occasion given her far greater form in recent times.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 2