WTA Istanbul Day 1 Predictions including Mertens vs Peterson

There should be plenty of entertaining action on the first day of the WTA Istanbul Cup as a number of star players – including the top two seeds – take to the courts in Turkey’s second largest city. As always, here at LWOT we will be offering our predictions for each game. But who secures his place in the second round?

WTA Istanbul day 1 predictions

Elise Mertens vs. Rebecca Peterson

Head to head: Mertens 3-0 Peterson

By the high standards Elise Mertens has set throughout her career, it’s been a poor start to 2022. She has won just nine matches and lost seven, with her best fourth-round performance to date at the Australian Open. She will no doubt try to improve on that in the coming weeks, starting at the WTA Istanbul Cup where she reached the final last season. However, she did receive a potentially difficult first-round match against Rebecca Peterson.

The Swede is at her best on the clay and despite losing all three of her previous encounters with Mertens, she pushed them to the limit in their last match at the US Open last season before going 6-3, 6: 7, 6 lost. 7. She also has more recent match practice on clay courts than the Belgian, having reached the second round in Bogota two weeks ago. But she didn’t play very well there and unless she improves a lot in Istanbul, Mertens might have too much.

Prognosis: Mertens in the 3rd
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Jil Teichmann vs. Greet Minnen

Head to head: first date

Jil Teichmann found some form in the Middle East, reaching the quarterfinals in Dubai and the third round in Qatar as a qualifier, but she couldn’t confirm that at the Sunshine Double, losing in the first round in Indian Wells and Miami. But returning to her favorite clay court should present a chance to get back on track for the Swiss. Between her and a place in the second round is Belgium’s Greet Minnen, who also wants to return to winning ways.

Minnen has played excellent tennis at ITF level so far this season, winning the title in Altenkirchen and reaching the final in Nur-Sultan, but she too lost the first round in both Indian Wells and Miami. She also cannot match Teichmann’s record at the WTA level or on this surface. Minnen has made impressive progress and the future looks bright. But Teichmann is still developing and is currently the better player. Expect this to be reflected in the score.

Prognosis: Teichmann in the 2
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Alison van Uytvanck vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Head to head: Tomljanovic 3-1 by Uytvanck

This has what it takes to be an entertaining match. Alison van Uytvanck is not one of the more consistent players on the WTA Tour, but the Belgian’s aggressive approach ensures she is one of the most watchable players. Ajla Tomljanovic generally tends to be risk averse, relying on her ability to keep her opponents moving before firing at the most opportune moment. That has served her well against van Uytvanck in the past.

The Aussie has won three of their four previous encounters, including this event in 2018. She also comes into this match in better form than van Uytvanck, although neither of them have been up any trees lately and seems more capable Conditions at the WTA Istanbul Cup. Significantly, she also has clay court tennis under her belt after reaching the second round in Charleston. There’s not much in it, but expect Tomljanovic to have a narrow lead.

Prognosis: Tomljanovic in 3
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Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs Sorana Cirstea

Head to head: first date

Sorana Cirstea enjoyed one of the best weeks of her career in Istanbul last season, storming to her second tour-level title with wins over the likes of Anastasia Potapova, Marta Kostyuk and Mertens. She hasn’t quite reached her climax this season, winning just 11 of her first 19 games and reaching just one semi-final (at the WTA Lyon Open). But there were still enough good results to suggest that the Romanian could put in some deep runs on her preferred clay.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich, meanwhile, has recorded an impressive 15-7 so far in 2022, reaching the quarterfinals in St. Petersburg, the second round in Qatar as a qualifier and the fourth round in Miami. However, she does not feel as comfortable on sand as Cirstea. The Romanian sheds very little from the baseline and has the walking speed to seek out most of what her opponents throw at her on slower surfaces. Expect her to crush Sasnovich down here.

Prognosis: Cirstea in the 2nd

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