The last set of second round matches at the 2019 WTA Zhengzhou Open will kick-start on Thursday, September 12 and some of the top players will take to court for these matches. Get the latest Elina Svitolina v Yulia Putintseva & Kiki Bertens v Ajla Tomljanovic predictions and tips below.Get the best odds for WTA Zhengzhou Open 2019 with 888Sport here.
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Elina Svitolina v Yulia Putintseva Preview:
Both Elina Svitolina and Yulia Putintseva have had a favorable season and meet in the second round of the Zhengzhou Open. They have met fourt times before with the Ukrainian winning on all occasions.
Elina Svitolina has not won any tour titles this year, but performed well at the majors. She was a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open, and semi-finalist at Wimbledon and the US Open. After good performance in Doha, Dubai and Indian Wells, her clay season was marred by a knee injury, but she did well to return strong in the second half of the year. She is currently ranked number three in the world and will be looking for a strong end to the season, to qualify for the year-end championships in Shenzhen.
Kazakhstan’s Putintseva has done well to recover this season. She was ranked in the top 30 in 2017, but fell out of the top 100 since. She did well at Sydney and Birmingham as well as triumphing on the clay of Nurnberg. Her year has consisted of defeating top ranked players such as Belinda Bencic, Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens as well as upsetting Aryna Sablenka at the US Open.
The match-up has always favored the Ukrainian who is on a good run and knows she needs to continue her level, to qualify for Shenzhen. It remains to be seen how well she has recovered from the New York run. Putintseva looked strong in her first round, but knows the challenge will be stiffer here on. Expect a good match, but the more accomplished Svitolina should prevail in two tight sets.
Svitolina v Putintseva Tip: Svitolina to win in two sets: 17/20 (888Sport)
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Kiki Bertens v Ajla Tomljanovic Preview:
Dutch Kiki Bertens looks to revive her season after a poor US Open outing, and begins action after a second round bye at the Zhengzhou Open against Ajla Tomljanovic. They have met twice before, most recently earlier this year and Bertens won on both occasions.
Despite having a good season overall and being in the top 10 for most of the season, Bertens dismal record at the majors continued at the US Open where she was eliminated by Julia Georges in the third round. The Dutch player arrives at the Zhengzou Open after a first round bye and will be looking forward to a good campaign to regain confidence for a good end to the season.
Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic had a convincing opening match against Dutch qualifier Lesley Kerhove, losing only 2 games in a 6-2,6-0 victory. Tomljanovic has not had the best of seasons, not able to gain any momentum with a string of disappointing losses.
Despite a disappointing Wimbledon and US Open, Bertens starts as a strong favorite. She has been very consistent and strong on the tour, outside of the majors and is overall a more seasoned and accomplished player than Tomljanovic. The Aussie will look to consolidate on her convincing first round win, but it looks unlikely that she can defeat a player of the caliber of Bertens.
Expect the Dutch to win in straight sets.
Bertens v Tomljanovic Tip: Bertens to win 2-0: 5/4 (888Sport)
Aryna Sabalenka v Jelena Ostapenko Preview:
Both Aryna Sablenka and Jelena Ostapenko and their tennis has seen better days on the tour. Two years ago, Ostapenko was riding on a French Open victory and last year Sablenka, on a strong hard court season. The picture this year is rather different.
Sablenka won the Premier-level New Haven event last year, which is now replaced by the Zhengzhou Open. She had a good start to the year winning Shenzhen and doing well at St.Petersburg, but apart from being a finalist in St.Jose, her season has been ordinary. Both Cincinnati and the US Open were disappointing, and it ended with her breaking up with her coach Dimitry Turusnov. The doubles scene has been a lot brighter for her, with her winning the Sunshine Double and the US Open with Elise Mertens.
Ostapenko was ranked world number five soon after her French Open title in 2017, but is now ranked number 75th in the world. She has had first round losses at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. Despite her season getting better on the North American hard courts, it has overall been less than optimal. The Zhengzhou Open was off to a challenging start for the Latvian with her having to come back from a 0-6 second set to win in three sets against a 246th ranked qualifier.
With both players on a downward spiral, this match will be a morale booster for the winner, as they will hope to make a deep-run and revive their season as it enters into the last two months. Sablenka has been in better form than Ostapenko of late and will have confidence from her doubles victories that she will look to bring to her singles game too.
Expect the Belarusian Sablenka to win in two well contested sets.
Sabalenka v Ostapenko Tip: Sabalenka to win in two sets: 11/10 (888Sport)
Zheng Saisai v Alison Riske Preview:
Alison Riske of the United States plays home favorite Zheng Saisai from China in the second round of the Zhengzhou Open. They have met five times with Riske leading 3-2. They met earlier this year in Osaka where the Asian won in straight sets.
Riske has had a good year and strung together some convincing victories, particularly on grass where she went 14-2, including defeating world number one Ash Barty at Wimbledon. Her first round match here was against former world number one and three time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber where she won a three set thriller, saving match point.
Zheng Saisai has had an up and down season where she won the title at San Jose, but was unable to maintain that form in Cincinnati and New York, losing 0-6,1-6 to Venus Williams in the US Open. However, she has a strong game and outplayed her Dutch qualifier opponent in the first round and will be buoyed on by the home crowd.
This could be an interesting match with both players in good form in recent times and it will boil down to who is better and more consistent on the day. Despite Riske being stronger of late, defeating some top names, the home crowd will definitely work to Saisai’s favor. Expect a well fought match, with the Chinese girl winning in three sets.
Saisai v Riske Tip: Saisai to win in three sets: 21/5 (888Sport)