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WTA Rome Day 3 Predictions Including Jessica Pegula vs Taylor Townsend

Jessica Pegula Australian Open

The third day of WTA play in Rome sees many of the seeded players in action after a jam-packed couple of weeks in Madrid. Fresh off her WTA 1000 doubles title, Beatriz Haddad Maia takes on the grinding Elena-Gabriela Ruse whilst Taylor Townsend brings some of her best form for a while into her match-up with third seed Jessica Pegula. As always at LWOT, we’ve predicted these exciting matches and more. We split all of the day’s matches between four articles. One features Victoria Azarenka vs Sloane Stephens, the second headlines Coco Gauff vs Yulia Putintseva, and the third features Aryna Sabalenka vs Sofia Kenin.

WTA Rome Day 3 Predictions

Beatriz Haddad Maia vs Elena-Gabriela Ruse

Head-to-head: First meeting

Elena-Gabriela Ruse is one of the scrappiest players on the tour. She will fight tooth and nail for every point and has squeezed every last drop out of her game that she can. Linda Fruhvirtova looked second-rate on the receiving end of a clay dog-fight from Ruse, getting very few free points against the Romanian.

Beatriz Haddad Maia will be ready though. She’s often underrated for how strong a fighting spirit she’s got herself. She’ll battle using her powerful shots and poise to find a way through the Ruse wall.
Prediction: Haddad Maia in 3

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Petra Martic vs Camila Osorio

Head-to-head: First meeting

It’s hard to watch Petra Martic’s game without wondering why she isn’t higher ranked. The world #28 seemingly has an abundance of firepower with the odd special shot to boot. Then she comes up against somebody like Iga Swiatek in Madrid and it’s a bit clearer–Martic can be bullied from the back of the court.

It takes some pretty inspired hitting to expose that, however, and Camila Osorio does not match that play-style. Martic has the potential to keep points short, attacking from the first ball on serve and return, giving her chances in every game where Osorio’s previous opponents only excelled in one department or the other. It’s during the day too, adding to Martic’s chances of dominating the baseline.
Prediction: Martic in 2

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Qinwen Zheng vs Alize Cornet

Head-to-head: Zheng 1-0 Cornet

It was somewhat a surprise that Alize Cornet was able to get through her match with Tereza Martincova in straight sets given her recent form. She seems to have dispelled any doubts, however, and she’s back to playing great tennis on a surface on which she has a fantastic record.

There are ways in which Cornet could out-fox Qinwen Zheng here on a slower surface. The Chinese’s serve will be stifled and Cornet has ways of redirecting pace that could expose any lack of movement from Zheng. Still, the hype around the world #21 is entirely justified–she possesses the immense weight of shot to take control of this one, even if Cornet puts up a fight.
Prediction: Zheng in 3

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Taylor Townsend vs Jessica Pegula

Head-to-head: Townsend 2-1 Pegula

Taylor Townsend has put together three very impressive wins to start off her Rome campaign. After returning from giving birth, Townsend’s progress has naturally been stunted but she’s shown some promising momentum here in the Italian capital. Her strong lefty swings open up angles of the court that wouldn’t be available to other players.

Jessica Pegula might actually get a bit of a challenge here. Unfortunately though, it’s unlikely to add to up to more than two hard-fought sets. Pegula’s base-level is officially absurd–she’s won her last 18 matches against players ranked outside the top 50 and has made at least the quarterfinals in 12 of the last 13 tournaments she’s played.
Prediction: Pegula in 2

Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports


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