WTA tournaments returned to china for the first time a few weeks ago. But we have now reached the biggest of those events, as the final WTA 1000 of the season begins in Beijing. This year’s Australian Open semifinalist Victoria Azarenka is the biggest name in action on the opening day. Her match is one of four first round main draw contests predicted in this article. We at LWOT also have an article predicting the other three main draw matches, and also one qualifier- this includes Elise Mertens vs Yue Yuan. But which players do you think will win?
WTA Beijing Day 1 Predictions
Marta Kostyuk vs Elisabetta Cocciaretto
Head-to-head: Kostyuk 1-0 Cocciaretto
Kostyuk lost a long and brutal match against Daria Kasatkina last week in Tokyo. Although it was a tough loss, the Ukrainian showed for long periods just how talented she is. With more composure she would have won. I doubt Cocciaretto will stop Kostyuk responding to that setback. The Italian had an excellent run to the title on the clay courts of Lausanne in July. But she has not won a single match since then. Kostyuk to progress at the WTA Beijing Open.
Prediction: Kostyuk in 2
Anastasia Potapova vs Varvara Gracheva
Head-to-head: Potapova 2-0 Gracheva
These two players have had similar seasons so far. Each woman started the year very strongly, and moved quickly up the rankings. However, both players have struggled a lot since then. Gracheva especially has been woefully short of form. Potapova does have the mental advantage of winning both her previous matches against Gracheva, but both of these were on clay. Nonetheless, I do think she will win on the hard courts at the WTA Beijing Open. Her playing style is a bad matchup for the Frenchwoman, and at her best she is a better player.
Prediction: Potapova in 2
Martina Trevisan vs Tatjana Maria
Head-to-head: Maria 1-0 Trevisan
Trevisan played impressively to reach the quarterfinals at the last WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara. Although she did skip the Tokyo Open after suffering a very tough loss in the quarterfinal, where she squandered four match points against Caroline Dolehide. It will be interesting to see if the extra rest helps her. Maria has been quite inconsistent through much of the season. She did reach the quarterfinal recently in Guangzhou. But I expect Trevisan to prevail at the WTA Beijing Open. The Italian is well-suited to dealing with the variety in Maria’s game, which is likely to be the key to victory.
Prediction: Trevisan in 2
Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette
Head-to-head: Azarenka 3-1 Linette
Azarenka’s achievements automatically make her the favourite here. But Linette is very comfortable in the conditions in China. She showed that during her run to the final at the last tournament she played in Guangzhou. Although the Pole unfortunately did not play well in the final, her performances throughout the week were very impressive. Azarenka is obviously a rise in class, but the Belarusian has yet to play a match in Asia. Linette is very consistent, and will test Azarenka’s rustiness in long rallies. I am going to back the upset here.
Prediction: Linette in 3
Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey – USA TODAY Sports