St. Petersburg R2: (4) Ana Ivanovic vs Margarita Gasparyan
Wednesday’s most intriguing clash at the St. Petersburg ladies’ trophy sees Ana Ivanovic and Margarita Gasparyan clash in the second round. Ivanovic has made a very poor start to the season and after receiving a bye into the second round will face a very tough opening match in St. Petersburg against an in from Russian. Margarita Gasparyan will be looking to claim her biggest scalp and make a real name for herself in front of her home crowd, this should be a good one.
Ana Ivanovic’s Australian summer didn’t go to plan, suffering first round exits in Auckland and Sydney before ultimately making a third round exit in Melbourne. Ivanovic is yet to defeat an opponent ranked inside the top 100 in 2016. The Serb arrived in St. Petersburg several days before the beginning of the tournament and has therefore had a good amount of time to practise and adjust to the conditions. Ivanovic desperately needs to deep run at a tournament, this week could be a good opportunity for her given the relatively weak field for a premier level event.
Margarita Gasparyan’s form heading into this match is in complete contrast to Ivanovic’s. Gasparyan has made a wonderful start to the season, the Russian went on a strong run to the fourth round at the Australian Open before succumbing to Serena Williams. It was by far the Russian’s best result at a Grand Slam and certainly seems to have given the rising start a real boost of confidence. Gasparyan made a strong start to her St. Petersburg campaign on Tuesday with a commanding 6-1 6-2 victory over a struggling Bojana Jovanovski.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair and promises to be a really close match. Both ladies love to dictate play with punishing groundstrokes, it will be interesting to see who is able to dictate play the most in this match-up. This is a tough match to call because both players can be very inconsistent but it is Gasparyan who clearer has the better form heading into this match and therefore probably has the slight edge. If Gasparyan is able to maintain her composure throughout the match, I think she is capable of causing an upset here.