?? Western & Southern Open – R1 Preview
?? Magda Linette vs. ?? Vera Zvonareva
Magda Linette and Vera Zvonareva will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage of the Western & Southern Open on Sunday at Flushing Meadows. There are over 200 places in the rankings separating the pair, but the odds are curiously even heading into this first round clash.
Linette made her return to the tour in Lexington a few weeks ago where she defeated Lauren Davis in straight sets in the opening round before succumbing to the eventual champion Jennifer Brady in straight sets in the second round.
Zvonareva also made her tour restart in Lexington where she was defeated by Jessica Pegula in three tight sets in the first round. So far so good for the former world number 2 in New York. The 35-year-old defeated Danka Kovinic and Astra Sharma in straight sets to ensure her progression through the qualifying draw.
I’m going to side with Linette here. The Pole is generally very underrated and has quietly been moving up the rankings playing her best tennis over the last few years. Linette is especially efficient on a hard court and almost always wins the matches she should win; this looks like a match that falls into that category. I doubt Zvonareva has the stamina to outlast Linette in a baseline struggle and I doubt Zvonareva has the consistent firepower to hit Linette off the court. Unless Linette has an off, which is rare, the Pole will win.