Simona Halep continues her 2020 Internazionali BNL d’Italia campaign on Friday with a potentially dangerous third round clash against Dayana Yastremska. This will be the first career meeting between the pair, a match-up of contrasting styles, can the flashy Ukrainian get the better of the 2-time runner-up in Rome?
Simona Halep is on a 10-match winning streak. The world number 2 won the premier-level title in Dubai just before the tour shutdown and won the Prague Open in her return to action last month. The reigning Wimbledon champion made a solid start in Rome with a 6-3 6-4 win over Jasmine Paolini having received a bye in the opening round. Halep is the top seed and favourite to go on to win the title in Rome this week.
Halep has surprisingly never won the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and will be keen to change that over the coming days. Halep twice reached the championship match in Rome, in 2017 and 2018, on both occasions she was defeated by Elina Svitolina. Halep has also reached the semi-finals in Rome on a couple of other occasions, in 2013 and 2015.
Dayana Yastremska has come through a pair of roller-coaster matches to reach the third round in Rome. A 7-5 6-7 6-4 win over Camila Giorgi was followed by a 4-6 7-6 6-4 win over Amanda Anisimova. Yastremska has already been involved 6 tight three 3 matches in her 4 tournaments since the tour restart.
I expect Halep to come through this one quite comfortably. Yastremska is dangerous but far too inconsistent to have much of a hope against Halep on a clay court. Yastremska’s level has swung wildly in recent times, from match-to-match and within matches, a far more consistent effort is required against Halep. The Romanian is one a select few players on the WTA tour that consistently achieves great results on clay. Expect the far superior consistency, discipline and stamina of Halep to see her through this one.
Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Dayana Yastremska in 2 sets
?? Western & Southern Open – R2 Preview + Prediction: ?? (16) Dayana Yastremska vs. ?? Bernarda Pera
The 16th seeded Dayan Yastremska continues her Western & Southern Open campaign on Monday with a second round match-up against the USA’s Bernarda Pera at Flushing Meadows.
Yastremska progressed to the second round in New York with a hard-fought 5-7 6-2 7-5 victory over Venus Williams. The power of Yastremska was ultimately too much for Williams to handle, the 20-year-old cut down on the unforced errors to take the last couple of sets after missing a several chances to take the first set. However, the win may have come at a cost for the Ukrainian who rolled her ankle in the opening set but continued to play through some discomfort. A good win for Yastremska following her transition from the European clay where she made the quarter-finals in Palermo a few weeks ago.
Pera also secured her spot in the second round with a tough opening round win, the American defeated Heather Watson 6-1 3-6 6-3. Pera arrived in New York on the back of a competitive opening round loss to Serena Williams in Lexington, a match Pera could have easily won. Decent form for Pera heading into this match.
The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Both matches took place in 2018, both tight, a 7-6 1-6 6-4 win for Pera in Charleston followed by a 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory for Yastremska in New Haven.
Yastremska should be too strong for Pera but there are a few concerns for the 16th seed heading into this clash, most notably a potential injury concern. Yastremska admitted she played through pain in her victory over Venus Williams after rolling her ankle in set 1. Furthermore, this is a troublesome match-up for Yastremska because of the somewhat unorthodox game of Pera. Yastremska struggled against Pera in their two previous matches and will probably find herself in another battle here. I’ll give Yastremska the benefit of the doubt, she is the better player.
Prediction: Dayana Yastremska to defeat Bernarda Pera in 3 sets
?? Western & Southern Open – R1 Preview ?? (16) Dayana Yastremska vs. ?? (wc) Venus Williams
A blockbuster opening round clash at the Western & Southern Open sees the 16th seeded Dayana Yastremska come up against 7-time major winner Venus Williams. This is a fascinating generational battle, the 20-year-old rising star against the 40-year-old veteran.
Yastremska made her return to the tour on clay in Palermo a few weeks ago where she reached the quarter-finals before succumbing to Camila Giorgi in 3 sets. Williams on the other hand made her tour restart on the hard courts of Lexington where she was beaten by Serena Williams in the second round in what was a high-quality match.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair. It will be fascinating to see how this one unfolds.
I’m going to side with Yastremska. At this stage of their respective careers it is Yastremska who should be able to overwhelm Williams with her power and greater movement. Not only can Yastremska match the power of Williams, she can beat it, Yastremska is the more explosive of the pair from the baseline. Yastremska has greater movement and stamina. Yastremska should be able to counter the power of Williams better than Williams can counter the power of Yastremska. Another big factor will be the Yastremska return of serve which should crack the vulnerable Williams serve.
Prediction: Dayana Yastremska to defeat Venus Williams in 3 sets
??☀️ Palermo Ladies Open – R1 Preview + Prediction ?? (7) Dayana Yastremska vs. ?? Sara Sorribes Tormo
A huge contrast in styles will be on show as the 7th seeded Dayana Yastremska takes on an in-form Sara Sorribes Tormo at the opening round stage of the 31st Palermo Ladies Open.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair, the huge hitting and aggressive game of Yastremska up against the consistency and determination of Sorribes Tormo.
The pair enter this clash with contrasting preparations. Yastremska was not involved in any exhibition events during the tour shutdown but did look like a player that would do plenty of damage this year in the early stages of the season. Conversely, Sorribes Tormo played a couple of exhibition events in Spain last month where she went on an 8-match winning streak to win both events, albeit against relatively weak opposition.
I will side with Yastremska here despite her limited preparation. There is no doubt that Yastremska has the game to absolutely dominate this match-up. The match probably will not turn out to be a straightforward one for a potentially rusty Yastremska, but she should eventually find the level required to hit through the Spaniard.
Prediction: Dayana Yastremska to defeat Sara Sorribes Tormo in 3 sets
Ash Barty and Dayana Yastremska will go head-to-head for the very first time in an intriguing second round match-up from the Miami Open in Thursday. Barty has been one of the most consistent players on tour in 2019 but will likely face a tough first-up test against Yastremska in Miami, Yastremska is a player on the rise with a an aggressive game and bold attitude.
Barty has made a great start to 2019, highlighted by a run to the final in Sydney and her first Grand Slam quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open. However, Barty arrives in Miami fresh from a bitterly disappointing fourth round loss to Elina Svitolina in Indian Wells. Barty squandered several leads in her loss to Svitolina in what stands as the longest match of the season thus far, it will be interesting to see how Barty responds from that tough loss in Miami.
Yastremska has also made a great start to the season, highlighted by her title run in Hua Hin last month. However, Yastremska has struggled Since winning the title in Hua Hin, suffering opening round exits in Dubai and Indian Wells. Yastremska got back on the winners list in Miami with a fairly comfortable 6-3 6-2 triumph over Ekaterina Alexandrova.
This will be the first meeting between Barty and Yastremska, a match-up with an interesting contrast in styles. The all-court game of Barty up against the extreme baseline power of Yastremska.
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