The 2019 Tashkent Open kick-starts from Monday, September 23 with few of the top players in the tournament in opening round action. Get the latest Margarita Gasparyan v Stefanie Voegele & Kristyna Pliskova v Jasmine Paolini tips and predictions with their previews along with other matches can be found below.Get the best odds for the WTA Tashkent Open 2019 with 888Sport here.
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Margarita Gasparyan v Stefanie Voegele Preview
This will be the first ever match-up between Margarita Gasparyan and Stefanie Voegele at this level. Gasparyan, ranked 55th in the world, had won this title at Tashkent last year, only the second title win of her career, and starts off as one of the favourites. She hasn’t had a great hard court season though.
Since winning her first round match at Wimbledon earlier this year, she has lost seven of the nine matches she has participated in. Five of those defeats have been on hard court surface. What would bother her a lot are the losses at the hands of Danielle Lao in the second round when she had to retire because of a hamstring issue and then a defeat to Kirsten Flipkens last week in Seoul.
Voegele’s had it worse. She is on a four-match losing streak, has lost 12 of her 19 matches on hard court surfaces this year and fallen to outside the top 120 on the WTA rankings. The defeats have been one-sided as well, and that allows Gasparyan a good chance to win this one.
Tip: Gasparyan to win in straight sets: 49/50 with Unibet
Kristyna Pliskova v Jasmine Paolini Preview
The world number 80 Kristyna Pliskova will be up against the 114th-ranked Jasmine Paolini in what would be their first ever meeting. The elder of the Pliskovas, by a few minutes, hasn’t done too much of note on the singles circuit, having won her only singles title in 2016.
Over the last three years though, Pliskova has struggled throughout but more so on hard court surfaces, winning 31 and losing 37 matches in the process. She is coming into this tournament on the back of a second round exit at the US Open, Nanchang Open and WTA Seoul.
Paolini’s performances, on the other hand, have shown marked improvement. Ranked 230th in the world about a year ago, she has risen to her career-best of 114th at the moment. She also played in the qualifier at Guangzhou last week and made it to the last-eight stage in the process.
If you are looking at a surprise result, this could well be the one.
Tip: Paolini to win: 7/4 with 888Sport
Tatjana Maria v Olga Govortsova Preview
This is an interesting match-up between the 87th-ranked Tatjana Maria and 216th-ranked Olga Govortsova. Why interesting? Because at one stage in her career, Govortsova was ranked 35th on the WTA charts but a string of poor performances and fitness issues left her with a free fall in the rankings.
She missed a whole year of tennis and by June 2018, had gone down to 968th in the world. There has been an obvious resurrection since then as the Belarusian has played in the lower circuit and won 42 of her 56 matches this year. At Tashkent too, she fought to make the main draw with a couple of wins at the qualifiers – which is a huge deal for her, since it will be her first-ever main draw appearance this year.
Her opponent, Maria looked like she was having a good start to her US Open series, with a couple of wins in the qualifiers in Toronto and then another in round one. But an abdominal strain in the second round left her retired and that was followed by four successive opening losses.
Can she win her first in five matches or will Govortsova create a little history for herself?
Tip: Maria to win: 29/20 with 888Sport
Timea Babos v Kirsten Flipkens Preview
It’s been four years since these two played each other but in the matches before that, Babos holds a 2-1 advantage over Flipkens. The 89th-ranked Babos is coming off some fine performances in recent times; a semi-final at the ITF circuit competition in Vancouver, followed by qualifying for the US Open with three wins and then making the second round there.
That was followed by another qualifier in Seoul where she won three matches in a row to make it to the second round before going down to Karolina Muchova. Flipkens, on the other hand, was a quarter-finalist at that very competition in Seoul, after a second round appearance at the US Open and Hiroshima Open. Sounds like Flipkens could surprise Babos here despite being ranked 11 places below her.
Tip: Flipkens to win: 21/20 with Unibet