WTA Lyon Day 4 Predictions Including Caroline Garcia vs Alison Van Uytvanck

Caroline Garcia prepares for the WTA Guadalajara Open.

Now approaching the halfway point of the WTA 250 tournament in Lyon, the draw is beginning to take shape and contenders are starting to stand out. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match. Who do you think will win?

WTA Lyon Day 4 Predictions

Anastasia Potapova vs Clara Burel

Head-to-head: first meeting

After a mixed 3-4 run in Australia that included a win over Sloane Stephens but also a loss to Nuria Parrizas-Diaz and a retirement to Katerina Siniakova in Adelaide, Potapova got a winning start upon her return to Europe. The 21-year-old came back from a set down against Marina Bassols Ribera to win 4-6 6-1 6-2.

Burel, who opted against playing warm-ups before the Australian Open, is 5-1 on the year. The Frenchwoman successfully qualified in Melbourne, coming back from a set down against both Carol Zhao and Olga Danilovic to clinch a main draw spot. There, Burel took advantage of an easy draw against 18-year-old Talia Gibson before bowing out to Barbora Krejcikova. In Lyon, Burel took out Ana Bogdan in straight sets to set up this match. I believe this match is more even than the bookmakers predicted (71% implied probability for Potapova) and I predict the home advantage will buoy Burel to a victory here.
Prediction: Burel in 3

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Shuai Zhang vs Maryna Zanevska

Head-to-head: Zhang 1-1 Zanevska

Defending champion Zhang Shuai got off to a rough start in 2023, taking losses to Liudmila Samsonova and Ana Bogdan in Adelaide but set her game straight in Melbourne. The 34-year-old faced a bit of pressure, defending a third round at the Australian Open, but Zhang took it even a step further. She got to the Round of 16, first dropping a set to a struggling Patricia Maria Tig in her opener but getting into the groove with easier wins over Petra Martic and Katie Volynets. Zhang was outpowered in the fourth round by Karolina Pliskova, getting bageled by the Czech on the way out, but it was an encouraging week overall. To start her Lyon title defense, Zhang defeated Madison Brengle 6-3 6-2.

Zanevska started her year with three straight wins, including an upset over compatriot Elise Mertens, reaching the second round out of qualifying in Hobart. The Belgian got a tough draw in Melbourne, losing to Veronika Kudermetova in the first round, but started off well in Lyon. Zanevska beat Dalma Galfi in straight sets, piling on the misery for the Hungarian as she is now on an eight-match losing streak and has won just one set this season. Zanevska has won her most recent match against Zhang quite comfortably, though on clay, while Zhang’s victory dates back to 2014. The 34-year-old has shown a pretty high level over her past two events and I expect her to fight to defend her title until the very end.
Prediction: Zhang in 2

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Danka Kovinic vs Anna Bondar

Head-to-head: Kovinic 1-0 Bondar

Both players are largely clay specialists but Kovinic opened her year with an impressive run in Auckland. The 28-year-old beat Nao Hibino, Lauren Davis, and Viktoria Kuzmova to reach the semifinals before losing to Coco Gauff, her deepest run on hard courts on the main tour since Vancouver in 2017. Kovinic then lost to Davis at the Australian Open from a set and a break up.

Bondar is defending a quarterfinal here and took the first step in the right direction, defeating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz in straight sets while Kovinic eliminated Viktorija Golubic. Kovinic has shown a bit more form this season, so I will lean the way of the Montenegrin.
Prediction: Kovinic in 2

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Erika Andreeva vs Jasmine Paolini

Head-to-head: Paolini 1-0 Andreeva

Erika Andreeva, older sister of 15-year-old Australian Open Junior finalist Mirra, is still just 18 herself and is already sitting well inside the Top 150. The young Russian looked good in Australian Open qualifying, beating Barbara Haas and Katarina Zavatska before falling to fellow rising star Sara Bejlek. Andreeva did not do great at her next event, losing in the second round of an ITF 60, but has impressed again in Lyon. The 18-year-old qualified with wins over Viktoriya Tomova and Diane Parry and looked good against fellow Russian Anna Blinkova, who retired from their first-round match at 6-7 6-4 4-0 for Andreeva.

Paolini has shown that she is surprisingly effective on indoor hard for a player who is mostly thought of as a clay specialist. The Italian is now 12-4 on indoor hard since 2021, including a run to the final in Cluj last October. Paolini also dominated their previous meeting last year, dropping just two games. Andreeva should provide more of a challenge this time around but I expect the Italian to win out.
Prediction: Paolini in 3

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Caroline Garcia vs Alison Van Uytvanck

Head-to-head: Garcia 2-1 Van Uytvanck

A match-up that has almost become a tradition in Lyon, though a round sooner than usual. Garcia and Van Uytvanck will play each other for the third time at this event in four years. The top seed narrowly won their most recent meeting here in the quarterfinals last year, 7-5 in the third, while the Belgian got the better of Garcia at the same stage in 2020, only allowing the Frenchwoman four games. Garcia leads the head-to-head overall as she won their first meeting back in 2019 Fed Cup, also on indoor hard. The World No. 5 did not perform as well at the Australian Open as she might have expected, losing to Magda Linette in the fourth round. Garcia is still 7-2 on the season, though without a signature win.

Van Uytvanck is 4-2 on the year, struggling to wins over lower-ranked opponents at the United Cup. She beat Linette a week before her big break in Melbourne but losing her remaining two matches in Australia to Wang Xinyu and Petra Kvitova. Both players got mostly comfortable straight-set wins in their Lyon openers, though. Garcia beat Tereza Marticnova and Van Uytvanck dispatched Tamara Korpatsch.

We should be in for an exciting match here with the Belgian’s well-documented pedigree on faster surfaces coming up against a Top 5 opponent. Add to that their history on this court from years past and Garcia’s home-favorite status here and you have all the ingredients for a potential classic.
Prediction: Garcia in 3

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