Day 2 at the WTA 250 Hobart International and we have a promising lineup to serve as a primer for the Australian Open. As always at LWOS, we look to predict some of the first-round matches including in-form Ysaline Bonaventure’s clash with former French Open semifinalist Tamara Zidansek, former world #4 Sofia Kenin’s battle with Zhu Lin and a likely grind between up-and-coming American Claire Liu and the diminutive Kazakh Yulia Putintseva. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches, split between two other articles. One features Alison Van Uytvanck vs Magda Linette, and the other features Alize Cornet vs Elisabetta Cocciaretto.
WTA Hobart Day 2 Predictions
Tamara Zidansek vs Ysaline Bonaventure
Head-to-head: Bonaventure 1-0 Zidansek
Ysaline Bonaventure and Tamara Zidansek are separated by 11 spots in the rankings, #99 and #88 respectively. On paper, they should be playing a similar level of tennis. Bonaventure however has been on an absolute tear recently whilst Zidansek’s stock has plummeted. The Belgian has won four matches in the last four tournaments she’s contested–contrastingly the heavy shots of Zidansek haven’t allowed her to power through on hard-courts, winning only three of her last 14 matches against top 100 opponents on the surface. This is a confident pick for us.
Prediction: Bonaventure in 2
Lin Zhu vs Sofia Kenin
Head-to-head: First meeting.
The former Australian Open champ Sofia Kenin is a shadow of her former self. She’s still chalking up the occasional win but a fall from grace to #280 in the world is unlikely to solely stem from a physical issue.
There is vulnerability in her opponent, Zhu Lin, however. Zhu has no outstanding weapons in her game and is reaping the rewards of an extended stint in the top 100 through perseverance and hard work. She may succumb to the pressure of the precariousness of her ranking. Kenin won’t make it easy for herself but she’s more than capable of winning this.
Prediction: Kenin in 3
Claire Liu vs Yulia Putintseva
Head-to-head: First meeting.
This is a pretty even match-up. Both players make a lot of balls and can cover a lot of court whilst both should be able to take advantage of the other’s lack of an effective first-serve.
What could make a modicum of difference is the speed of the court. Yulia Putintseva can more than carry herself off of clay but there’s no doubt she’s happier to be less proactive than Claire Liu who possesses a little more firepower to finish off those long rallies. Putintseva however is capable of changing her tactics from the baseline if Liu takes the initiative.
This is likely to be a drawn out affair with plenty of twists and turns. Given Liu can’t ace her off the court, we have a good feeling about Putintseva’s ability to adapt to different rally dynamics from a very tough opponent.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Main Photo from Getty.