The second day of the WTA 1000 in Rome features some close matches. A resurgent Elina Svitolina versus her steady compatriot Lesia Tsurenko–the feel of Cornet versus warmed-up qualifier Martincova–we’ve tried to predict the outcome of these close contests and others in the Italian capital. We split the day’s 20 matches between five articles–that means four articles after this one. The other articles feature Lauren Davis vs Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Paula Badosa vs Anna-Lena Friedsam, Sloane Stephens vs Nadia Podoroska, and Sara Errani vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Who do you think will win?
WTA Rome Day 2 Predictions
Ana Bogdan vs Nao Hibino
Head-to-head: Bogdan 3-1 Hibino
As with a lot of match-ups between top 100 players and players ranked outside the top 100 on clay, a slight power disparity between Ana Bogdan and Nao Hibino could decide the winner.
History has shown this will make a pretty big difference here in Rome. Bogdan has beaten Hibino two out of two times on this surface, with one of the wins coming in particularly one-sided fashion in the slower conditions of Istanbul. Bogdan should take control of this one.
Prediction: Bogdan in 2
Alize Cornet vs Tereza Martincova
Head-to-head: First meeting
Let’s consider Alize Cornet‘s extremely one-sided loss to Romero Gormaz in Reus to be a bit of a blip. Cornet’s form has been a little patchy recently and, if her movement’s a little off, she may struggle to get quite as much out of her counter-punching game style on a surface that has been friendly to her in the past.
Tereza Martincova may just be the player to take advantage. Cornet’s serve won’t be fast enough to stop Martincova taking control from the first ball. Her shots can be up and down but we think she’ll be hitting with just enough venom for her to take the win.
Prediction: Martincova in 3
Karolina Muchova vs Kamila Rakhimova
Head-to-head: First meeting
We all rate Karolina Muchova’s amazing game. If she’s playing her best tennis, few can stop her. There’s little evidence to suggest she won’t be playing to a decent level–she hasn’t been knocked out in the first round of any event since losing to Ajla Tomljanovic at the US Open last year.
Likely playing against Muchova in decent form, Kamila Rakhimova won’t have too much of a chance. The surface doesn’t benefit her flat strikes and Muchova should have the game to unpick her.
Prediction: Muchova in 2
Elina Svitolina vs Lesia Tsurenko
Head-to-head: Svitolina 2-1 Tsurenko
If you weren’t impressed by Elina Svitolina’s close loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Madrid, you weren’t watching the match. Svitolina since reached the semifinals of the 125-event in Saint Malo, losing narrowly to Sloane Stephens and winning her first top 100 match since starting her comeback, against Ysaline Bonaventure. Svitolina may not be back to her very best but she’s brought a fantastic level back to the court.
Though their previous meetings were a fair while ago, Svitolina has always had the measure of compatriot Lesia Tsurenko. The world #68 will put up a very good fight but Svitolina’s reignited the level required to win this one.
Prediction: Svitolina in 3
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports