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WTA Beijing Day 1 Predictions Including Elise Mertens vs Yue Yuan

Elise Mertens French Open

The final WTA 1000 event of the year takes place in Beijing. There is a very busy opening day scheduled. Seven first-round main draw matches take place, while there are also some qualifying contests to complete. This article predicts three main draw clashes and one qualifying match. Elise Mertens and Donna Vekic are are among those in action. WE at LWOT predict the results of the other main draw matches in Beijing in a separate article– featuring Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette.

WTA Beijing Day 1 Predictions

Mirra Andreeva vs Anna Kalinskaya (Qualifying)

Head-to-head: First meeting

Andreeva has only played four tournaments and seven matches since her extraordinary breakthrough at Wimbledon. She has won 4-3 win/loss record in those contests, and it is understandable that the teenager has been a little inconsistent since. Her compatriot Kalinskaya returned at the US Open after being absent since the French Open, and has looked good in patches. This is likely to be decided by who can use their strength the best. Kalinskaya has a much stronger forehand, while Andreeva has a preference for her backhand. I will back the teenager to target the Kalinskaya backhand often enough to win.
Prediction: Andreeva in 3

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Donna Vekic vs Anna Blinkova

Head-to-head: First meeting

Vekic is seeking a response to last week. The Croat produced one of the worst performances of her career against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, winning just two games during the match. Blinkova is not in great form either though. The world #40 started the season very strongly, but has been struggling for victories since the grass court season ended. Vekic’s aggressive tennis should be too much if she is near her best. This year’s Australian Open quarterfinalist will also be a desperate response after her display last week.
Prediction: Vekic in 3

Sorana Cirstea vs Petra Martic

Head-to-head: Cirstea 2-2 Martic

Cirstea won a recent match against Martic in straight sets in Washington last month. The Romanian of course also has the momentum built from her run at the US Open. But I am going with Martic here. This is in spite of her poor showing last week in Tokyo, where she lost in straight sets to the now retired Misaki Doi. The courts in Shanghai are slightly lower bouncing than in Washington. This allows Martic to use the variety in her game more effectively, especially her slice. I think that will catch Cirstea out on this occasion.
Prediction: Martic in 3

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Elise Mertens vs Yue Yuan

Head-to-head: First meeting

Mertens has not found any form since her solid US Open campaign. However, I still expect her to have too much in the WTA Beijing Open first round. Yuan can be dangerous when she finds her range. And the crowd support is likely to give her something of a boost. But Mertens has much more well-rounded and solid game than the current world #147. Yuan will need to be aggressive and try and rush Mertens as often as she can, and hope she can play her absolute best throughout the match. Nonetheless, I expect Mertens to advance at the WTA Beijing Open.
Prediction: Mertens in 2

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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