WTA Linz, Osaka, Tianjin 2nd Round Preview: Pliskova v Barthel, Stosur v Gajdosova

The draws in both Osaka and Tianjin have seen few upsets so far, therefore meaning my finalists in both tournaments are still alive! However, Linz has been as unpredictable as they come with just two seeds remaining after completion of the first round and some second round matches.  On Wednesday, Dominika Cibulkova and Sabine Lisicki both lost in three sets to join Andrea Petkovic, Ana Ivanovic (injury), Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Caroline Garcia on their way out of Linz.

1. Karolina Pliskova v Mona Barthel (WTA Linz, R2)

Barthel 1

As the only seed remaining in the bottom half, Karolina Pliskova will fancy her chances of continuing her excellent recent form.  Pliskova reached the final of Hong Kong and won her second WTA title in Seoul last month.  By virtue of her upturn in fortunes, Pliskova is now ranked inside the top 30.  Pliskova defeated Kirsten Flipkens, 6-2 6-4 in the first round.  Pliskova had lost her last two matches to Flipkens in straight sets.  On Thursday, she takes on Mona Barthel in the second round.  Mona’s had an up-and-down year, but generally, it has been better than last year.  She won a title in Bastad and has had some respectable results at the Grand Slams.  Barthel defeated Kiki Bertens in the first round, 6-3 6-1.  It was the eighth (!) time that the pair have played with Barthel winning her sixth match against Bertens.  Both Pliskova and Barthel are big hitters, who should be comfortable on an indoor court.  In their most recent match-up earlier this year, Pliskova defeated Barthel on the clay of Bad Gastein in straight sets.  I think this will be closer, but Pliskova is the more reliable player right now…

Prediction: Ka. Pliskova d. Barthel in 3 sets

2. Sam Stosur v Jarmila Gajdosova (Osaka, R2)


Sam Stosur faces a testing second round match against fellow Australian, Jarmila Gajdosova.  Stosur won her first match of the week against Misa Eguchi, 6-4 7-5, meanwhile Gajdosova defeated Miharu Imanishi, 6-4 6-0.  Gajdosova is back up to world number 68 thanks to two ITF title wins earlier this year and a cracking run of form through the Asian Swing, which has seen her win 13 matches (and counting).  She has one of the most positively aggressive games on tour, but in equal portions, it can be infuriating.  It had been a while since I had watched Gajdosova play, but I saw her three set loss to Caroline Wozniacki in Tokyo.  The pace she generate out of nowhere is pretty awesome.  Stosur reached the semi-finals of Beijing, which was an excellent result.  However, she remains vulnerable and particularly, against a dangerous opponent like Gajdosova.  The lower ranked Aussie has two victories over Stosur, but the most recent of those was in 2011.  Still, I really like Gajdosova’s chances of an upset in this match.

Prediction: Gajdosova d. Stosur in 2 tight sets

WTA Linz 2nd Round Predictions

Jana Cepelova d. Anna-Lena Friedsam in 3 sets *tough one to call*

Magdalena Rybarikova d. Karin Knapp in 2 sets

Eugenie Bouchard d. Tsvetana Pironkova in 2 tight sets

WTA Osaka 2nd Round Predictions

Coco Vandeweghe d. Ana Konjuh in 3 sets

Lauren Davis d. Shuko Aoyama in 2 sets

Zarina Diyas d. Lara Arrubarrena in 3 sets

WTA Tianjin 2nd Round Predictions

Jelena Jankovic d. Zheng Saisai in 2 sets

Zhang Shuai d. Hsieh Su-Wei in 3 sets

Peng Shuai d. Elizaveta Kulichkova in 2 sets

6 thoughts on “WTA Linz, Osaka, Tianjin 2nd Round Preview: Pliskova v Barthel, Stosur v Gajdosova

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