When Jelena Ostapenko and Daria Kasatkina faced each other in the final at Charleston many years ago, it seemed like a true glimpse into the future of women’s tennis. Whether these expectations have been fulfilled is arguable, but in fact two months later the Latvian was the French Open champion. Now they’ll be battling it out for another title seven years later. Who do you think will prevail?
WTA Adelaide Final Prediction
Jelena Ostapenko vs Daria Kasatkina
Head-to-head: Ostapenko 5-2
Jelena Ostapenko has begun the season with a 6-1 win/loss record, only losing a thriller to Victoria Azarenka in the Brisbane quarterfinals. This part of the season was never really her favorite until she made the last eight at the Australian Open last year. Now she seems to be enjoying herself a lot more and has been executing her game at a very high standard. One thing that has to be noted though is that she’s been playing almost exclusively against fellow power-hitters so far, no one quite like her next opponent.
Daria Kasatkina had a very tough match against Anna Kalinskaya in the second round and who would have thought that this was going to be the last time she took the court before the final. Benefitting from the withdrawals of Laura Siegemund and Jessica Pegula, the 26-year-old got a free ticket to the next stage of the event in two consecutive matches. That can’t hurt the week before the Australian Open when you want to win the title, but you also want to have some energy left for the big one.
The head-to-head might look horrible for Kasatkina, but it’s definitely a bit inflated with grass results (3-0 Ostapenko) and it’s actually the Russian who won their only meeting on hard courts. It still isn’t a comfortable matchup though and this is where her second serve gets targeted from the get-go with the efficiency of that bombardment depending mostly on her opponent. Ostapenko has very good return stats in general for how aggressive she is with it and that’s a major asset here.
Prediction: Ostapenko in 3
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports