Making predictions on the WTA is a minefield. However, it’s safe enough to say that 18-year-old Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska will have a good 2019 season. A 10-2 record in her last three tournaments suggests that she will not want this season to end. This includes her first of many WTA titles in Hong Kong. A jump in rankings from #190 last year to a current #60 shows a player continually on the rise.
Dayana Yastremska from ITF Scrambling to WTA Regularity
A poor grass court season that saw little progress in ITF events suggested that Yastremska is on a steep learning curve. This is exemplified by a first round loss at the ITF Fuzion 100 Manchester Trophy 2018 to Claire Liu. This was a shock in the respect that Yastremska has decent junior grass pedigree. The Ukrainian beat Claire Liu at the Wimbledon Juniors quarterfinals 2016. All in all, the Ukrainian seems to be the better prospect, going forward.
Ever since making the semifinals at a strong 100k ITF event in Hungary in July, Yastremska has been a mainstay on the WTA tour.
2019: The Year to Build upon Sole Slam Appearance
A first round loss to Muguruza’s eventual conqueror Karolina Muchova represents Yastremska’s only Slam outing. The Ukrainian’s ITF background suggests that clay is her best surface and the French Open may be her focus. That said, the Ukrainian made the 2016 Wimbledon Junior’s final, suggesting surface flexibility. Providing she can learn from this year’s disappointing grass season.
Yastremska’s Shows Promise in Latest Tournament- Luxembourg Open 2018
Dayana Yastremska barely had time to sip some champagne after her Hong Kong triumph before flying off to the hard-courts of Luxembourg. Arguably, despite losing to Belinda Bencic in the semis, this was her best performance.
In the first round against Varvara Lepchenko, it took an epic effort to prevail 6-2 6-7 7-6. Yastremska squandered match points in the 2nd set against an experienced opponent. However, the way she adapted, went back to- basics, getting the ball back in play in the third set, showed composure beyond her tender years. She will need to fully harness the hanging tough aspect of her game in order to keep progressing.
Yastremska Needs to Reduce Double Fault Count
44 double faults in her last two tournaments (Hong Kong & Luxembourg; 9 matches) suggests a need to relax on serve. Although, she won in Hong Kong, the double faults were still too high. This is definitely an area that coach Olivier Jeunehomme will be looking to hone in on in the off-season.
Dayana Yastremska Could Form Potent Fed Cup Partnership with Marta Kostyuk
With Ukraine losing both of their Fed Cup matches this season, their fans will look to the future of Yastremska and 16-year-old Marta Kostyuk to revive their competitiveness. There was no Svitolina in either of the matches for Ukraine, so Yastremska could establish herself as a mainstay on the team. Ukraine will be in the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 next season.
There is a lot to like about Dayana Yastremska and her future prospects.
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