The Beijing organizers have scheduled four WTA singles third-round matches for Wednesday. It’s an extremely stacked line-up with matches like Jessica Pegula vs Jelena Ostapenko, a surprising all-Polish battle, or Elena Rybakina taking on one of the brightest young talents in the sport. Who do you think will come out on top?
WTA Beijing Day 5 Predictions
Liudmila Samsonova vs Marta Kostyuk
Head-to-head: Samsonova 3-0
Marta Kostyuk has long felt like a player one tournament away from some sort of breakthrough, but she can’t quite find that event that would turn things around for her. She’s getting some big wins recently though, including over Ons Jabeur here in Round 2. Liudmila Samsonova dismissed her pretty comfortably in Washington earlier this year. Is the Russian playing quite as well as she was during the North American hard-court swing? Maybe not, but her serve and a powerful forehand do give her the edge in this matchup when she finds her rhythm.
Prediction: Samsonova in 3
Jessica Pegula vs Jelena Ostapenko
Head-to-head: Pegula 3-1
They’ve played in Doha this year with Jessica Pegula coming out on top 7-5 in the third. The conditions in Beijing are faster, but that doesn’t necessarily have to help the more aggressive player. It could be easier to respond to Jelena Ostapenko’s power here and stand up to the Latvian. Especially if one has a dangerous flat forehand like Pegula and generally enjoys fast-paced rallies. Still, it’s Ostapenko and she’s so hard to stop when she’s on. She’s clearly the less reliable player here, though.
Prediction: Pegula in 3
Iga Swiatek vs Magda Linette
Head-to-head: First meeting
This is just the second time two Poles will take on each other at the WTA 1000 level since its introduction–Urszula Radwanska beat her sister Agnieszka in Dubai 2009. While these two come from different generations and haven’t really interacted all that much, they’ve been part of the Billie Jean King Cup team together on a few occasions. Matches between countrywomen can get weird, but Swiatek has a lot more quality on her shots and it will be tough for Linette to absorb and redirect her heavy topspin.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2
Elena Rybakina vs Mirra Andreeva
Head-to-head: First meeting
Mirra Andreeva will be among the world’s best players at some point, it’s just unclear when. For now, the 16-year-old had a couple of less exciting appearances before grabbing this run. Her wins over Barbora Krejcikova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were dominant, although it did feel like the two veterans underperformed significantly. Now she gets to play Elena Rybakina in what will be a much tougher test. Power players have been a bit tough to handle for Andreeva so far and the serve of the Kazakh might be the deciding factor here too.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2
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