The 2022 WTA Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati continues with the remaining second-round matches on Day 3. In one of them, the recently crowned Wimbledon champion, Elena Rybakina, takes on Garbine Muguruza. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches, split between three other articles. One features Victoria Azarenka vs Emma Raducanu, the second highlights Veronika Kudermetova vs Simona Halep, and the third features Iga Swiatek vs Sloane Stephens. Who do you think will prevail?
WTA Cincinnati Day 3 Predictions
Jessica Pegula vs Marta Kostyuk
Head-to-head: First meeting
Marta Kostyuk emerged from the qualifying draw here and stopped Camila Giorgi, preventing a ninth meeting between the Italian and Jessica Pegula. The Ukrainian is a player of immense potential, but she rarely pulls off a performance where it truly shows. Pegula has just made the semifinals in Toronto and while seemingly inconspicuous, she’s got the ability to fight back even if Kostyuk’s playing well. The American should capitalize on her good form, especially playing at home.
Prediction: Pegula in 3
Paula Badosa vs Ajla Tomljanovic
Head-to-head: Badosa 2-0
Paula Badosa quite comfortably dismantled Ajla Tomljanovic twice this year already, both in the Australian hard court season. The Spaniard retired 5-7 0-1 down to Yulia Putintseva last week, but it didn’t seem to be any serious health issue and something more like fatigue. Tomljanovic has already won three matches here and has that big surface that will be dangerous on the fast courts in Cincinnati. If she is to have a crack at Badosa, this tournament and this match present a great chance.
Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3
Caty McNally vs Ons Jabeur
Head-to-head: Jabeur 2-0
Caty McNally survived a crazy encounter against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, cramping up right before the match point in the deciding set tie-break. She still took it home and will get her third shot at Ons Jabeur. Their last two meetings were fairly straightforward and there’s not much to suggest this one will be any different. The Tunisian retired a set down to Qinwen Zheng last week but to the best of our knowledge, it wasn’t a serious injury or anything like that.
Prediction: Jabeur in 2
Elena Rybakina vs Garbine Muguruza
It’s been a very pedestrian season for Garbine Mugurza as she’s only amassed two WTA Tour quarterfinals so far. Elena Rybakina hasn’t exactly pushed on after her Wimbledon title, but it’s not like the Kazakh has been playing poorly. The 23-year-old took out Muguruza in their only hard court meeting at the Tokyo Olympics last year and should have all the tools required to do that again. Both players want to dictate the rallies and be the first one to strike, but Rybakina does it with a lot more efficiency at the moment.
Prediction: Rybakina in 3
Main Photo from Getty.