Day 3 at the Zhengzhou Open promises more exciting matches and, possibly, more upsets. Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, and Aryna Sabalenka all take to the court against spirited opposition.
WTA Zhengzhou Open Day 3 Predictions
Jelena Ostapenko vs Aryna Sabalenka
Jelena Ostapenko and Aryna Sabalenka, are both exceptional players. Ostapenko blasted her way to a French Open title in 2017. During that tournament her average forehand speed was higher than Andy Murray’s. She not only showed hard-hitting, but mental strength, coming from behind to defeat Simona Halep in three sets. Since then her all or nothing game has been more nothing than all. Her ranking has plummeted and her results have been erratic. Her first match in Zhengzhou illustrates this. She won, but the scoreline was 6-3, 0-6, 6-2. Sabalenka’s on court accomplishments – most recently the doubles title at the US Open – have been overshadowed by the uncertainty surrounding her relationship with her coach Dmitry Tursunov. Tursunov announced he was no longer working with Sabalenka, but Sabalenka posted at length on Instagram about how much she valued and needed his help. Sabalenka is still on surer footing tennis-wise than Ostapenko and is likely to win. Ostapenko, however, has proven that, on her day, she can defeat anyone.
Sabalenka in 3.
Kiki Bertens vs Ajla Tomljanovic
Kiki Bertens has never lost to Ajla Tomljanovic. Both of their previous matches went to three sets. Bertens, currently in the top 10 sits thirty eight spots above her opponent. Bertens had a seemingly underwhelming run on American hard courts for a woman with her ranking, exiting in the round of 16 in Canada, the first round in Cincinnati and the third round of the US Open. However, a look at her opponents in those matches: Bianca Andreescu, Venus Williams, and Julia Gorges puts the losses in some perspective. Bertens will likely find a way past Tomljanovic as she has before: with some difficulty.
Bertens in 2.
Saisai Zheng vs Alison Riske
Alison Riske pulled of a major upset defeating Angelique Kerber in three sets, saving a match point along the way. Saisai Zheng’s first round was smoother. While she might be marginally fresher for the match today, she will also have less of a clear indication of where her game is in Zhengzhou. Riske and Zheng have played six times with Riske winning four of those encoutners. Zheng, however, won their most recent match in straight sets last year in Hiroshima. Riske’s win against Kerber is a sign that she is already comforatble in China and ready for a deep run.
Riske in 2.
Karolina Pliskova vs Polona Hercog
Karolina Pliskova and Polona Hercog have played five times. Pliskova has only lost once. Pliskova’s form has been iffy in 2019. She has had excellent performances interspersed with mystifying losses to lower ranked players. Currently ranked number two in the world trailing Ashleigh Barty by only 376 points, Pliskova started 2019 auspiciously by defeating Serena Williams at the Australian Open. Hercog, both lower ranked and in poorer form, registered a commanding win over Meiling Wang, but lacks the firepower to take on a player like Pliskova.
Pliskova in 2.