After some excellent tennis in Seoul, the Korea Open draw has been whittled down to just two women with Karolina Muchova set to clash with Magda Linette for the title in Seoul. Both have played extremely well so far and both will surely be desperate to get their hands on the WTA International-level trophy. But who will come out on top?
Korea Open Final Prediction
Karolina Muchova vs Magda Linette
Head-to-head: Linette 1-0 Muchova
This will be the pair’s second meeting and if it is anything like the first, it should be some match. That previous contest came in the quarterfinals at the New York Open in the Bronx last month and Linette came out on top, edging out Muchova 6-7 6-4 7-6 and going on to win the title, the first of her career at tour-level. That win, particularly because it was so recent, will surely give her real confidence heading into this match. But it may also give Muchova extra motivation.
Not that the Czech has looked to be in need of any so far this week. She did begin her campaign with a slightly indifferent performance up against Alison Van Uytvanck, but after beating the Belgian in three-sets she has looked most assured. In the second round, she dismissed Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-2 6-3 and the Australian qualifier Priscilla Hon offered little more resistance as Muchova beat her 6-3 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Then in the last four, she beat eighth seed Wang Yafan 7-6 6-4.
But she will need to maintain that high level up against Linette, who is in the midst of the finest spell of her career. After winning in the Bronx, she reached the second round at the US Open and the quarterfinals at the Jiangxi Open, where she twice served for the match against eventual champion Rebecca Peterson. She recovered swiftly from that disappointment by dismantling Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round at the Korea Open.
The Pole then battled past Russian young gun Anastasia Potapova 7-5 7-6 to reach her second quarterfinal in as many weeks. There she faced former-Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens. The Belgian had picked up impressive wins over Denisa Allertova and seventh seed Margarita Gasparyan, but proved to be no match for Linette who won 6-2 6-3. And she backed that up by edging out second seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-6 7-6.
This looks to have all the makings of a close contest. Neither player is blessed with massive power, but both time the ball well and hit it accurately. Where Muchova may just have the edge, however, is from the line and in the forecourt. If she can serve well and move forward regularly, she should be able to keep Linette on the backfoot. The Pole, for all her qualities, lacks Muchova’s accuracy on serve and her touch at the net. Expect that to prove the difference.
Prediction: Muchova in 3
Embed from Getty Images