WTA Jurmala Round 1 Predictions including Irina Bara vs Margarita Gasparyan

We welcome a new tournament to the WTA Tour this week as the players travel to the beautiful resort town of Jurmala in Latvia.

This is a WTA International tournament played on traditional red clay and will undoubtedly be fiercely competitive and wide open.

Interestingly, the WTA tour has gone to Latvia, but it does deserve a place on the tour. They have produced a Grand Slam winner in Jelena Ostapenko and also boast a top 20 player in Anastasija Sevastova, both of whom have decided to work this tournament into their schedule.

Sevastova, as #1 seed, has a great chance of success this week and it’ll be interesting to see how the Latvian public take to this new tournament.

Round 1 begins on Monday and features five main draw matches.

WTA Jurmala Baltic Open Day 1 Predictions

Irina Bara vs Margarita Gasparyan

No head-to-head record

This match between the two 24-year-olds may be the highest quality match on show on Day 1.

Initially, it may look as though Gasparyan should win comfortably. She is the much higher-ranked player (59 v 184), a much better win% record in the last 12 months and has won many more titles than her opponent.

However, when you delve into their respective clay court records you see that it’s Bara who actually has a better record on the WTA on this surface. Bara has won more matches on clay than Gasparyan, held serve more frequently and broken her opponents more regularly than her more illustrious opponent.

Gasparyan, though, has won her last four first-round matches and will see this tournament as a great opportunity to cement her position in the upper echelons of the women’s game. It will be a tough battle.
Prediction: Gasparyan in 3

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Ana Bogdan vs Dalila Jakupovic

Head-to-Head Record: 1-0

This may be the ultimate example of a head-to-head record that means absolutely nothing. Their previous meeting was in 2011 in a hard court ITF tournament.

Having said all that I actually expect the same result here. Jakupovic’s WTA clay-court record in the previous year reads 0-7. Not only that but her confidence is very low after suffering eight defeats in a row, including her last 5 at WTA International level.

Even Bogdan’s modest 7-7 record on clay this year should leave her at a level that would be good enough to dominate here and see her through to the second round.
Prediction: Bogdan in 2

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Katerina Siniakova vs Anhelina Kalinina

No head-to-head record

One of my favorite WTA players takes to the court on Day 1 and I like Siniakova’s chances to go deep in this tournament.

She has a feisty, competitive character, and she doesn’t give up on any ball. She is the third seed for the tournament and she opens against a player she should be able to beat fairly comfortably.

Kalinina is ostensibly a very high-level ITF player, though she has an excellent clay-court record at that level. In her five WTA level matches on clay in the past 12 months she has held serve less than 50% of the time and that simply won’t get the job done against a top 50 player like Siniakova.
Prediction: Siniakova in 2

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Tatjana Maria vs Jana Fett

Head-to-Head Record: 1-0

The seed versus the wild card. Usually, these matches don’t work out well for the wild card, but Tatjana Maria, seeded seven here, has lost her last seven matches on the WTA tour on clay.

This gives Fett a chance to capitalise on some fragile confidence, and she has a winning record on the ITF tour on clay in the last year.

This is going to be a weak match, potentially decided on who makes the least unforced errors. Maria should still get the better of the young Croatian but I would be surprised if she did it with ease.
Prediction: Maria in 3

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