The big question going into this match is how will Simona Halep fare after her injury last week at the Rogers Cup. With a convincing win against the veteran Carla Suarez-Navarro, Alexandrova will be confident and take advantage of any potential hiccups Halep may have with her movement. Despite retiring with an achilles injury, she has decided her health his in good enough condition to compete this week in Cincinnati. Haleps game depends on her movement, so her injury will need to be a thing of the past if she is to win against a quality opponent in Ekaterina Alexandrova.
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Third seed Elina Svitolina has turned what had looked like being a poor season around with excellent runs to the last four at Wimbledon and the US Open. The Acapulco champion made an impressive start to her China Open campaign by dismissing her compatriot Wang Xin Yu and will have the crowd with her in this clash. However, she managed to pass the difficult opening test of Anastasija Sevastova in the China Open first round, besting the Latvian 6-7 6-1 6-2. Her strong finish to that match will surely have given her real confidence of avenging her 2-6 4-6 loss to Wang Yafan in Miami earlier this season. But if Svitolina can play her best tennis, she should have enough to advance. But her performances at regular tour events has still left rather a lot to be desired.
Kiki Bertens season has not quite recovered from the disappointing end to her French Open campaign where she was forced to retire after just four games of her second-round clash with Viktoriya Kudermetova. Yastremskas hard, flat groundstrokes can make her almost unplayable when she is playing with confidence. She will need to be at her best again when she takes on the fast-rising Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, who demolished Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-1 in the first round. But she made an impressive start to her China Open campaign, battling past the in-form Donna Vekic in three sets. If she can find a repeat of her performance against Garcia, she should be able to punch her ticket into the third round.
BetClanEkaterina Alexandrova vs Simona Halep - Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Preview
Neither woman has a realistic chance to make the field in Shenzhen, but a place at the WTA Elite Trophy is very much attainable for both. She would surely dearly love to change that at the China Open. This looks set to be a close contest, but it is the Croatian who has made the better start to the Asian swing. But she will face a stern test up against Petra Martic, who has also enjoyed a fine season. It has been another impressively consistent season for Elise Mertens, but she has not managed to put together one standout week. Expect that momentum to take her to a narrow victory in this one.
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Madison Keys complemented her receiving by serving well as she won 89% of her service games. On the other side of the coin, Madison Keys looked dominant in her previous match as she defeated Daria Kasatkina in straight sets. During the win, Keys impressed with her power as she dominated points. Madison Keys received serve exceptionally well as she won over 50% of her receiving points which allowed her to win 50% of her return games.
Yafan Wang took down Rio Olympic Champion Monica Puig, with very quality and controlled tennis in her last match. Karolina Pliskovas play has been a little inconsistent of late, but she did have a decent week at the Rogers Cup before falling to the eventual champion Bianca Andreescu. However, she just doesnt have the tools to trouble World #3 Pliskova. Despite that, she has a big serve and powerful forehand that should be extremely potent in Cincinnati.
Ekaterina Alexandrova: results and record
Ekaterina Alexandrova, meanwhile, has been playing some very good tennis of late, despite a first-round loss in Wuhan, and impressed in rallying past Bernarda Pera in her Beijing opener. After her stunning Wimbledon triumph, Simona Halep has rather faded back into the pack, with her best showing since a quarterfinal finish in Toronto. But after a start to the Asian swing disrupted by injury, she looked back to something approaching her best in hammering Jiangxi Open champion Rebecca Peterson for the loss of just two games. But with Halep in this sort of mood, there can surely only be one winner here.
Halep has an outstanding defensive game and I see her being good enough to nullify the power play of Madison Keys. Madison Keys has looked good in this tournament but I see her losing this match. Simona Halep has been in outstanding form and she is playing her best tennis at the moment.
With the fast courts of Cincinnati being an important consideration, expect Keys big serve and powerful groundstrokes to be too much for Kasatkina. This rivalry has been one-sided in favor of the American, including a 6-2 6-1 romping at the 2017 edition of this very tournament. However, Daria Kasatkina did well to her first match of the week against Wimbledon semifinalist Barbara Strycova.
Day 3 of the WTA Cincinnati Premier event includes many extremely competitive matches for WTA tennis fans to enjoy. We also have predictions for every other WTA Cincinnati match Wednesday. Recent Wimbledon Champion Simona Halep looks to rebound from an injury scare at the Rogers cup, while top big names on the WTA tour including Madison Keys and Karolina Pliskova look to stake a claim for the coveted title in Cincinnati.