The order of play from WTA Cincinnati on Day 2 is stocked full of superb matches, and we are here to predict their outcomes. Who will advance on Tuesday? We also have predictions for two other sets of Tuesday matches.
WTA Cincinnati Day 2 Predictions
Maria Sakkari vs Petra Kvitova
Head-to-Head Record: 1-1
A warm welcome back to action for Petra Kvitova, one of the best players on tour when she is fit and firing.
Maria Sakkari has had a solid year, consolidating her position on the outskirts of the top 32. Her hard court stats are ok and she has a run to the semi-finals at San Jose recently. The beating that she dished out to Camila Giorgi in Round 1 will only increase her confidence here.
The tricky part of predicting this match is knowing the level Kvitova will produce. It’s difficult enough at the best of times, but this is her first match since Wimbledon. Even before Wimbledon, she hadn’t played since early May on clay, ironically retiring that day against Sakkari in Rome.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Czech is the better player and better hard-court player, and I would just about pick her for this matchup on the assumption that she is close enough to being ready for her to come out and play.
Prediction: Kvitova in 3
Donna Vekic vs Katerina Siniakova
Head-to-Head Record: 0-3
Two of my favorite younger players to watch on the WTA meet for the fourth time. Siniakova has held the advantage so far, winning all of their previous meetings, but she will need to turn her form around here to make it four from four.
The young Czech will be disappointed to only have won three of her last ten matches on tour, but there was enough in her performances last week to suggest that she is ready to turn the corner again.
Vekic has a good game for hard-court tennis with a powerful serve and well-produced groundstrokes. She made a good run to the semifinals in San Jose recently and will be looking to build on that here.
I expect an exciting match here, but with unforced errors potentially the deciding factor. It will go three sets and I just think that the greater confidence and bigger game of Vekic will carry her through.
Prediction: Vekic in 3
Lesia Tsurenko vs Monica Puig
No previous meetings
Both players come into this match having fairly nondescript seasons. It has been a source of real frustration that Monica Puig has been unable to turn her amazing Olympic success into something more sustained on tour.
Tsurenko comes into this tournament with a worrying lack of tennis on tour, having only played six matches in the last two months, winning just two of those.
At least those matches were main draw matches though, Puig has been having to pound the qualification beat, and not been successful in doing so either. She is only in this match as a lucky loser, but that hasn’t stopped players having successful tournaments in the past.
Looking at the respective hard-court stats, Puig has the edge, despite having a worse win-loss percentage. She holds more often and breaks her opponents more often than Tsurenko manages. That gets her the verdict here.
Prediction: Puig in 3
Anett Kontaveit vs Angelique Kerber
Head-to-Head Record: 2-1
This clash of two top 20 players comes unfortunately early in the tournament. Both would be wanting to build some momentum at this stage looking ahead to the US Open.
Though Kontaveit leads the H2H, Kerber was the most recent victor, and the only one on hard, winning in Doha earlier this year though.
The players hold very similar data records on hard over the last twelve months also. Both hold serve around two-thirds of the time and then break their opponents around a third of the time. This has given them both impressive winning records on this surface.
Kontaveit is the player who has a little more hardcourt practice in, making it to the Toronto 3rd round last week, and I think this may be the slight edge required to take this match. The Estonian has reached a stage in her career now where playing Grand Slam champions and World #1s doesn’t bother her anymore. Kerber will have to work hard to keep the winners to a minimum and cause more problems on her own delivery. This looks a very tight match and it should go to three sets.
Prediction: Kontaveit in 3
Madison Keys vs Garbine Muguruza
Head-to-Head Record: 3-1
If, in 2015/16, you were asked to name a couple of players who would be meeting in latter stages of Premier events and Grand Slams, these two players would have been high up on that list.
The fact is that Keys is seeded #16 and Muguruza unseeded here. This adds to the struggle that I am having in thinking of many positives to share on their current situations, which highlights the disappointing state of their respective careers at this stage.
This is Muguruza’s first tour-level event outside of Grand Slams since Rome in early May. The lack of match practice could present an issue here but we all know as tennis fans that she has a great game for all surfaces.
Keys, meanwhile, has lost her last three matches to Polona Hercog, Hailey Baptiste, and Donna Vekic. She comes in bereft of confidence. Hopefully, she will gain some positivity looking at her winning record against her opponent.
I think Muguruza will be looking at this hard-court swing as a new start for her and will try and power to a win.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3
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Disagree with our WTA Cincinnati Day 2 Predictions? Feel free to leave your own WTA Cincinnati thoughts in the comments.