The end of a very successful maiden trip to Jurmala, Latvia approaches. The organisers and directors will surely be happy with the turnout and the level of the tennis at the inaugural Baltic Open, which looks certain to become an established stop on the WTA tour. A partisan crowd is to be expected during the final with the top seed and Latvian #1 Anastasija Sevastova set to take on the Polish qualifier Katarzyna Kawa for the title.
WTA Jurmala Final Prediction
Anastasija Sevastova vs Katarzyna Kawa
Head-to-head: first meeting
On the face of it, this looks like a near-certain victory for the top-seeded Sevastova. She was unsurprisingly the heavy favourite at the start of the week after another excellent season and is ranked 183 places above her opponent, who will be playing her first ever WTA final at the age of 26. But Kawa is playing the best tennis of her career and her stats over the last year are comparable with Sevastova’s, especially on clay.
However, Sevastova plies her trade at the very top level and is used to dealing with the pressure of big matches. That said, she hasn’t won a tournament now since Bucharest just over a year ago, something she will be keen to put right in front of the Latvian crowd. Kawa, meanwhile, is set for a significant rise in the rankings regardless of the result here. As a result, she will need to guard against complacency after performing so well to reach her first final and may also need to guard against nerves.
But she also has nothing to lose and that could make her dangerous and allow her to play with freedom. The Pole will, however, need to start well as she did against Bernarda Pera in the semifinals. If she can do that then Sevastova may start to feel the pressure of expectation. But the crowd has been vocal in their support all week and Sevastova has mostly seemed to use it as inspiration. And ultimately, as well as Kawa has played this week, Sevastova is a cut above any of the opposition she has faced so far. As a result, expect it to be the Latvian’s name engraved on the trophy as the first Baltic Open champion.
Prediction: Sevastova in 2
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