Yanina Wickmayer and Jelena Ostapenko will meet in the first round of the St.Petersburg Ladies Trophy in what is sure to be a feisty affair. Wickmayer continues to blow hot and cold; her aggressive baseline game made her a regular in the top 30 between 2009 and 2012 but she has never managed to regain that kind of consistency despite the odd decent result. The mental side of her game has frequently been her stumbling block of late; two of her three losses this year have come from winning positions in third sets. Her attitude and fighting spirit on the court remain admirable.
Ostapenko has made a name for herself in her short time on the WTA tour and not necessarily for the right reasons! She was involved in the one of the most dramatic matches of the year so far in Auckland against Naomi Broady when she accidently flung her racquet, hitting a ballboy. Her attitude has also come under fire, particularly from other WTA players. Her mental strength, like Wickmayer, has also been patchy of late; in that match against Broady, Ostapenko missed two match points from dominant winning positions in both the second and third sets. The young Latvian also wasted a match point in her first round match at the Australian Open against Su-Wei Hsieh, letting slip a 6-3 4-0 lead.
On a positive note, the 2014 Wimbledon juniors champion has made swift progress on a sharp incline to move up over 200 spots in the rankings between 2014 and 2015; most notably, she reached the final of the International event in Quebec City last year and thrashed Carla Suárez Navarro at Wimbledon to win her first Slam main draw match.
H2H Record: In their only previous match, Ostapenko beat Wickmayer in an ITF tournament in Trnava on clay, 6-2 6-4.
Analysis: Both players have struggled to close out matches this year so this could be a real rollercoaster. Ostapenko struggled in Fed Cup action this week, losing two of her three singles matches including a comprehensive 0-6 2-6 loss to Tsvetana Pironkova. Confidence won’t be high and you have to question how all the drama and outfall from that match against Broady has affected her as the results have gone a little downhill since. Wickmayer missed two match points in her last match, losing out to Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-3 3-6 5-7 in Melbourne. I’m on the fence with this one but my initial instinct was Ostapenko…