Yulia Putintseva vs Jelena Ostapenko, Australian Open R2 Preview

Australian Open, ?? Second Round Match preview
(31) ?? Yulia Putintseva vs ?? Jelena Ostapenko

One of the most anticipated matches on the outside courts on Thursday sees Yulia Putintseva come up against Jelena Ostapenko in what should be a fiery second round clash at Melbourne Park. Putintseva and Ostapenko are two of the most exciting young players to watch, both a very competitive and had a confrontational clash in their most recent meeting in Beijing last year where Putintseva emerged victorious. Ostapenko will be desperate for revenge whilst Putintseva is extremely hungry for another win over the Latvian.

Yulia Putintseva is competing in her first Grand Slam as a seeded player, a new type of pressure on Yulia. The Kazakh made a good start to her Australian Open campaign on Tuesday, claiming a hard-fought 7-5 7-6 win over Lara Arruabarrena in a match that lasted just under three hours in extreme heat. Putintseva was clutch on the big points, saving a combined 10 set points throughout the match, an outstanding effort.

Jelena Ostapenko had a more comfortable route to the second round stage in Melbourne, claiming a 6-4 6-0 win over Lin Zhu. Ostapenko will be desperate to improve her Grand Slam results in 2017, the Latvian rocketed up the rankings in 2016 but did not win a single match at the Grand Slam level. That will need to change.

The only previous match between the pair was won by Putintseva on the hard courts of Beijing late last year. Putintseva won that match 6-1 3-6 7-5. This is a fascinating match-up because these two have similar fiery attitudes but very different playing styles. Putintseva is far more defensively minded whilst Ostapenko goes for broke on most shots. I’m going to give Putintseva the edge because she is more consistent and has a far, far better record at the Grand Slam level and usually plays well in Melbourne.

Prediction: Yulia Putintseva to defeat Jelena Ostapenko in 3 sets

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