The third day of the 2019 WTA Upper Austria Linz Ladies will surely bring a ton of excitement. 15-year-old lucky loser Cori Gauff will play her second-round match against Kateryna Kozlova. Who do you think will prevail? We also have predictions for four more Linz matches.
WTA Linz Open Day 3 Predictions
Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Kristyna Pliskova
Head-to-head: Alexandrova 1-0
Ekaterina Alexandrova defeated the lower-ranked of the Pliskova twins, Kristyna, in Seoul a couple of weeks ago. The surface should make it easier this time around as all of Alexandrova’s biggest career titles came on indoor hard. She’s also finished the last year’s edition as a runner-up to Camila Giorgi. On top of that, the Russian comes to Linz full of confidence, having scored the second top 10 win of her career last week over Simona Halep.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 2
Elena Rybakina vs Anna-Lena Friedsam
Head-to-head: First meeting
2019 has been a breakthrough year for Elena Rybakina. The 20-year old Kazakh has already jumped over 150 ranking spots and she might end it on a really high note here. She battled through qualifier Nina Stojanovic in the first round and will face another player who had to fight for a spot in the main draw, Anna-Lena Friedsam.
The German has been as high as No.45 in the world a couple of years ago, but was stopped by recurring injury issues. Her win over Belinda Bencic in the first round (which puts the Swiss out of contention for the WTA Finals in Shenzhen) will be extremely tough to follow up. However, Friedsam has been performing up to her best from day one here (beat Caty McNally and Shelby Rogers in qualifying). The conditions clearly suit her and the confidence level will be sky-high. Expect her to give Rybakina a very tough time and possibly beat the odds again.
Prediction: Friedsam in 3
Julia Goerges vs Andrea Petkovic
Head-to-head: Petkovic 3-2
An all-German clash in the second round and it should be extremely exciting. Julia Goerges had little trouble dismantling Margarita Gasparyan in her opening round. The world No. 27’s playing style is well suited to indoor surfaces, with her devastating serve and forehand being even more deadly than anywhere else. Facing her will be Andrea Petkovic, who gave away just two games to Jil Teichmann in her first match. Petkovic doesn’t have weapons of the same caliber, but she’s always a tough opponent to beat and feels very natural at counterpunching. She defeated her younger compatriot here last year and it won’t be easy to repeat that feat. Expect it to be very close but in the end, Goerges’ offensive repertoire should take her over the line.
Prediction: Goerges in 3
Cori Gauff vs Kateryna Kozlova
Head-to-head: First meeting
The 15-year-old prodigy Cori Gauff was not able to come through the qualifying draw, losing her second match to Tamara Korpatsch. However, The American benefitted from a late withdrawal from Maria Sakkari and got in as a lucky loser. Facing Stefanie Voegele in the first round, Gauff put up a shaky performance but found a way to triumph in straight sets. Kateryna Kozlova survived a scare against Anna Blinkova, wasting two match points on her serve and allowing the Russian to face a decider. Kozlova then found herself twice in a situation where her opponent served for the match, before ultimately prevailing in the third-set tie-break.
Although Gauff is remarkably mature for her age, the lack of experience shows. The American’s shot selection can be all over the place and she often finds herself trying to end the points too early. Anyhow, the 15-year-old’s potential seems almost limitless and provided she keeps her cool, Kozlova is not an opponent she should fear. The Ukrainian was very up and down in her opening match and Gauff will not give her as many chances as Anna Blinkova did.
Prediction: Gauff in 3
Main Photo from Getty.
Disagree with our WTA Linz Open Day 3 Predictions? As always, feel free to share your thoughts and predictions in the comments.