After Jule Niemeier defeated Sofia Kenin in Monday’s only main draw match, the WTA 250 in Linz really gets going Tuesday with 11 matches on the schedule. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match. We split the rest of the day’s matches between two other articles. One features Maria Sakkari vs Nuria Parrizas Diaz, and the other headlines Linda Noskova vs Alison Van Uytvanck. Who do you think will win?
WTA Linz Day 2 Predictions
Marina Bassols Ribera vs Petra Martic
Head-to-head: first meeting
After a somewhat mediocre start to the season, Bassols Ribera is getting into a bit of a rhythm on indoor hard, surprisingly enough. The Spaniard qualified for Lyon, dropping a combined ten games in wins over Varvara Gracheva and Sara Errani, before going a set up on Anastasia Potapova. This week, Bassols Ribera got slightly less impressive wins over Miriam Kolodziejova and Noma Noha Akugue. Martic has had a mediocre start to the season as well, 3-4 on the year and without back-to-back wins since September. It’s a tough one to call but I will lean toward Martic as she is yet to take a bad loss this year despite her record.
Prediction: Martic in 3
Bernarda Pera vs Dalma Galfi
Head-to-head: Pera 1-0 Galfi
After starting her year with a loss, Pera stepped her game up a notch after crossing the smaller pond between New Zealand and Australia. The 28-year-old made the quarterfinals in Hobart before taking out Zheng Qinwen en route to a third round in Melbourne. Galfi broke her eight-match losing streak this week in Linz qualifying, though she was not particularly impressive in wins over Melania Klaffner and Kamilla Rakhimova. It’s already been a good week for the Hungarian’s confidence but I would be surprised if she wins here.
Prediction: Pera in 2
Varvara Gracheva vs Anna Blinkova
Head-to-head: Gracheva 2-2 Blinkova
We’ve already seen this Russian derby earlier this season, Blinkova dominating Gracheva in Hobart qualifying, only allowing her countrywoman two games. The 24-year-old lost her first two meeting to Gracheva in three-set battles but has won the last four sets in their head-to-head. Gracheva got a shocking win in Melbourne, upsetting Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-1 en route to the third round but has really struggled outside of it. She did not manage to qualify this year, losing to Anna-Lena Friedsam and only getting in as a lucky loser. Blinkova had a nice run to the semifinals in Hobart out of qualifying and pushed Madison Keys to three sets in Melbourne but had to retire from her most recent match. Despite that, I expect Blinkova to come out on top here.
Prediction: Blinkova in 2
Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Rebeka Masarova
Head-to-head: first meeting
Second seed Alexandrova was up and down in Australia but got to the third round in Melbourne. The 28-year-old has had very good performances in Linz in the past, making the final here in 2018 and reaching the semifinals twice more since. Masarova had a breakout run in Auckland to start her year, going all the way to the final after qualifying. The half-Spanish, half-Slovak player born in Switzerland then failed to qualify for the Australian Open, likely due to fatigue. Masarova qualified in Lyon last week and already beat Clara Tauson this week in Linz qualifying. This should be a pretty exciting match but the experience of Alexandrova should win out.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 3
Main Photo from Getty.