Zhuhai Day 1 Match Previews & Predictions
The inaugural Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy will commence on Tuesday. The introduction of this second tier tour final event has been controversial, with many airing their displeasure for the event, including players. Nevertheless, the field is quite strong, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki are the headline acts.
Group A: (1) Venus Williams vs (7) Madison Keys
The opening match of the tournament will be an all American affair when Venus Williams comes up against Madison Keys. This is a critical match in Group A, the winner of this match is almost certain to progress to the semi-finals given Saisai Zheng is the other player in the group.
Madison Keys famously defeated Venus 6-3 4-6 6-4 at the quarter-final stage of the Australian Open earlier this year. I think this is a good match-up for Keys, she has all the power to match Venus and arguably has a clearly better upside at this stage in their careers.
Venus showed strong form throughout the Asian Swing as she made one last big push to reach the WTA Finals. I think Venus is likely to be a little burnt out at the moment at this stage of the year. This is a good opportunity for Keys. Madison has more to gain here.
Prediction: Madison Keys to defeat Venus Williams in 3 sets
Group C: (6) Sara Errani vs (9) Jelena Jankovic
Jelena Jankovic will be looking to claim her first victory over Sara Errani since 2010 when the 2 go head-to-head in the 2nd match of the day in Zhuhai. Errani has won the last 3 encounters between the pair, but 2 of those were her beloved clay.
Jankovic has shown good form towards to the end of the year, claiming 2 international titles during the Asian Swing including Hong Kong where she beat Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber.
Jankovic will be determined to defeat Errani given their recent record and should have the weapons to handle Errani on this surface. Jelena should way to defeat the Italian if she remains patient and waits for her opportunities.
Prediction: Jelena Jankovic to defeat Sara Errani in 2 sets
Group B: (8) Elina Svitolina vs (10) Andrea Petkovic
The final match of the day sees Elina Svitolina and Andrea Petkovic go head-to-head for the first time on the WTA tour. Elina and Andrea both arrive in Zhuhai in poor form and will desperate to turn that around and finish the year on a high.
This is a tough match to call, I’m going to side with Svitolina. The Ukrainian has been in Zhuhai training for quite some time and should be well placed to perform at a decent level. This is not a good match-up for Andrea, she will struggle to hit through Svitolina.