?? Western & Southern Open – R1 Preview + Prediction:
?? Anastasija Sevastova vs. ?? Kristina Mladenovic
Anastasija Sevastova comes up against Kristina Mladenovic in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open in New York. Will the Latvian make a winning return in a city she has enjoyed the greatest successes in her career?
Sevastova and Mladenovic both made disappointing restarts to tour action on the European clay. Sevastova was beaten in straight sets by Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round in Prague whilst Mladenovic was beaten in 3 sets by Ekaterina Alexandrova in the opening round in Palermo. Both will be keen to grab in a win at the Western & Southern Open before heading into the US Open next week.
Flushing Meadows has been a very happy hunting ground for Sevastova over the years. The Latvian has achieved her greatest results in New York at the US Open having reached the semi-finals in 2018 and the quarter-finals in 2016 and 2017, her 3 best results at the Grand Slam level. It will be interesting to see if Sevastova can replicate those efforts over the next couple of weeks.
Sevastova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Mladenovic. However, it was Mladenovic who won their most recent meeting, a 7/5 3/6 6/3 win in St. Petersburg late last year, the only previous match between the pair on a hard court.
I’m going to side with Sevastova here. Sevastova loves playing in New York and will surely be confident heading into this match because of her recent record at Flushing Meadows. In general, I believe this is a good match-up for the Latvian. Sevastova has the consistency and versatility to make life very tough for Mladenovic. Sevastova’s consistency from the back of the court, coupled with her drop shots, passing shots and lobs make her a troublesome match-up for the Frenchwoman.