WTA Palermo Day 1 predictions including Zheng vs Samsonova


With a field filled with talent, entertaining tennis shouldn’t be missing next week at the WTA Open in Palermo. On day one there are eight first round matches on the schedule and as always here at LWOT we will be offering our predictions for every match including Marina Bassols Ribera v Jil Teichmann. But who will reserve their place in the second round?

WTA Palermo Predictions Day 1

Nuria Brancaccio vs. Jaqueline Cristian

Face-to-face: first meeting

This is a huge opportunity for (at the time of publication) world # 451 Nuria Brancaccio. But the Italian has been in great shape lately. In the first week of June, she reached the final at an ITF-25k event in Grado, where she narrowly failed against top-ranked Nuria Parrizas Dias, and she supported him as she passed qualifying for reach the third round at another ITF event in Wroclaw two weeks ago. However, she was well beaten in the first round in Turin last week.

Jaqueline Cristian, meanwhile, has been in largely indifferent form. But the Romanian ended a three-game losing streak to get the qualifiers in Budapest, losing in the first round to Ivana Jorovic. Still, she performed well enough even in this game to suggest she can beat Brancaccio. The Italian remains extremely inexperienced at this level and, while Cristian is not a regular on the circuit herself, she currently has a more complete game.

Prediction: Cristian in 3
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Lara Arruabarrena vs. Grace Min

Face-to-face: first meeting

It’s been six years since Grace Min reached her career-best ranking of world No.97, with the American’s tour-level appearances having been few and far between lately. But she played solid tennis last time in Prague, reaching the quarter-finals with wins over Samantha Stosur and seventh seed Nina Stojanovic, both in straight sets, before losing to Wang Xiyu. That said, she will now have to readjust to clay after playing on hard courts in Prague.

This may prove to be easier said than done, especially against an opponent of Lara Arruabarrena’s quality. The Spaniard has rather lost his way since her qualifications at Roland Garros, winning only one of the five matches she has played from Paris. But it seems like a good opportunity to get back on the road to victory against an opponent who does not share his affinity for clay tennis. It can go the distance, but expect Arruabarrena to be the player to reach the second round.

Prediction: Arruabarrena in 3
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Vitalia Diatchenko vs. Julia Grabher

Face-to-face: first meeting

Vitalia Diatchenko played good tennis to qualify for Wimbledon, but the Russian lost in straight sets to teenage sensation Emma Raducanu in the first round. She followed that up with a narrow first round loss in Prague. The Russian will now be looking to turn the tide at the WTA Palermo Open, but will have to meet the challenge presented by playing on three surfaces in as many tournaments.

Julia Graber has at least a few clay court games under her belt after beating Amarissa Kiara Toth and Jamie Loeb to qualify in Budapest last week. She lost to Bernarda Pera in the first round despite winning the first set, but it was still a solid outing for the Austrian, and in a game that looks otherwise tight on paper, this time spent playing on gravel. beaten could well give him a decisive advantage.

Prediction: Grabher in 3
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Zheng Qinwen vs. Ludmilla Samsonova

Face-to-face: first meeting

It was an unforgettable turf season for Ludmilla Samsonova, the Russian winning her first touring title in Berlin before reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, upsetting 22sd seed Jessica Pegula and former US Open champion Sloane Stephens en route. However, she is less comfortable on clay. She has only won a handful of games earlier in the season and now faces what appears to be a tough test against qualifier Zheng Qinwen.

The 18-year-old may not have a lot of experience, but she’s recently found a rich vein of form. The Chinese won an ITF title at Stare Splavy before reaching the consecutive semi-finals in Montpellier and Contrexéville. She then beat Louisa Chirico and Melania Delai to reach the main draw of the WTA Palermo Open. It will be a step forward in the quality of the opposition, but it is one that Zheng seems to be in a good position to take.

Prediction: Zheng in 3

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