The WTA main tour is back in Ningbo for the first time since 2014. Beginning the main draw action at this event will be eight singles matches on Monday. One of them is an intriguing Roland Garros re-match between Elina Avanesyan and Clara Tauson. We also look at the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article. Who do you think will prevail?
WTA Ningbo Day 1 Predictions
Vera Zvonareva vs Katie Boulter
Head-to-head: Boulter 1-0
Vera Zvonareva’s obviously way past her best, but she looked pretty good in her recent US Open qualifying campaign. Katie Boulter isn’t an unwinnable draw for her here. However, she’s not going to enter this match as the favorite either. The Brit has performed well in Asia before and can often thrive in these moderately weak WTA 250s. Age, energy, match rhythm – these are all on her side as well.
Prediction: Boulter in 2
Viktoria Hrucakova vs Anna Blinkova
Head-to-head: Hruncakova 2-0
Viktoria Hruncakova was impressive in Guangzhou, surviving a couple of very taxing matches and still being able to produce a pretty good level. She’s also managed to qualify in style in Ningbo. Her fitness is usually a big issue, but if she’s able to play many long matches in a short amount of time and still keep going, this is a good sign. Her big serve should trouble the mercurial Anna Blinkova here as well.
Prediction: Hruncakova in 3
Rebeka Masarova vs Linda Fruhvirtova
Head-to-head: Fruhvirtova 2-0
Linda Fruhvirtova beat Rebeka Masarova twice last year, but they’ve really gone in different directions since. While the Spaniard is enjoying the best season of her career, the young Czech currently finds herself on a nine-match losing streak. It’s gonna stop somewhere, but nothing we saw last week suggests that it will, especially with Masarova’s good performance in Guangzhou (quarterfinal run).
Prediction: Masarova in 2
Elina Avanesyan vs Clara Tauson
Head-to-head: Avanesyan 1-0
Elina Avanesyan beat Clara Tauson in a thrilling third-round encounter at Roland Garros this year. Her variety of spins will not be as dangerous to the Dane on hard courts though and this should be about one thing: health. If Tauson stayed injury-free, she’d probably be up there among the world’s very best. But she’s continually struggling, including a retirement last week. She’s fine physically, she probably wins this match.
Prediction: Tauson in 3
Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports