The WTA Tokyo Open has gotten underway, with five matches played on the opening day. It is a tournament with a very strong draw, including Iga Swiatek, although there have been three withdrawals from the event. Many exciting players are in action on the second day. As always, we here at at LWOT are predicting every match on day two in Tokyo- including Donna Vekic vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
WTA Tokyo Day 2 Predictions
Anna Kalinskaya vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
Head-to-head: Alexandrova 4-0 Kalinskaya
Ekaterina Alexandrova’s form dipped slightly in San Diego and Guadalajara. But she has still had a very good year overall, with a title and also a final last month in Cleveland to her name. This should be a good matchup for her. The slightly quicker conditions in Tokyo are likely to suit her big serving and flat hitting style of play. In addition, she has a perfect record against Anna Kalinskaya, including three wins on hard courts. Kalinskaya is having a solid season in her own right. But I expect Alexandrova to extend her perfect record to 5-0, and likely in straight sets.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 3
Linda Noskova vs Himeno Sakatsume
Head-to-head: first meeting
This is a great opportunity for the 18-year-old Linda Noskova. That is not meant as any disrespect to Himeno Sakatsume, but the Czech was initially set to face Elena Rybakina, who subsequently withdrew from the WTA Tokyo Open. World #181 Sakatsume does have a home crowd to try and inspire her to an upset win. However, I do not foresee that happening. It has been a breakthrough season for the teenager, reaching two ATP finals. She may not have much experience playing against home crowds. But it is unlikely that will stop her progressing comfortably to the second round.
Prediction: Noskova in 2
Veronika Kudermetova vs Harriet Dart
Head-to-head: Kudermetova 3-0 Dart
Eighth seed Veronika Kudermetova has been struggling by her standards as of late. She posted a 2-5 win/loss record during the American hard court swing. Hence a switch to the slightly different conditions in Asia may be welcome. Harriet Dart progressed through qualifying in Guangzhou last week, and did it again at the WTA Tokyo Open this week. That shows she is comfortable with the conditions, and an upset is not impossible. Nonetheless, do expect Dart to progress. Despite her recent struggles, Kudermetova’s ranking remains far superior for a reason, and she will also take confidence from her 3-0 head-to-head record.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 3
Embed from Getty Images
Daria Kasatkina vs Marta Kostyuk
Head-to-head: Kostyuk 2-1 Kasatkina
There is a good chance of this being a lengthy match, with many long rallies. Daria Kasatkina is one of the biggest grinders on the WTA Tour, while Marta Kostyuk has an all-court style, but also does not possess overwhelming power. The Ukrainian already caused shocks against Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia this season. In addition, the Asian swing is a period of the season that Kasatkina has often struggled with throughout her career. An upset is certainly possible here, especially given Kostyuk’s winning record against Kasatkina. But Kostyuk’s form has also been somewhat mixed lately. Overall, Kasatkina’s consistent brand of tennis gets a very slight edge here, against her sometimes inconsistent opponent.
Prediction: Kasatkina in 3
Main photo credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports