WTA Wuhan Open 2019 Predictions & Tips for September 25: Simona Halep v Elena Rybakina & Petra Kvitova v Sloane Stephens

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The third round matches at the 2019 Wuhan Open matches will kick-start on Wednesday with some of the top players including Simona Halep taking to court. Get the latest Simona Halep v Elena Rybakina & Petra Kvitova v Sloane Stephens tips and predictions with their previews along with other matches can be found below.

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Simona Halep v Elena Rybakina Predictions & Preview

This will be the first time that Simona Halep and Elena Rybakina will be going toe to toe at the WTA circuit. Halep starts off as a huge favourite in this one, especially after getting the news her coach, Darren Cahill, will be reuniting with her soon.

The Romanian did not have a great US Open series following her win at Wimbledon but one can put that down to the relief from having won a title that big. However, Halep has already done better here than she had last two seasons when she went out in the second round. And now that she has an opponent who is ranked 50th in the world, life might not be too difficult for her in this match.

Rybakina has a 18-8 win-loss on hard court surfaces this season, which includes a final appearance at Nanchang, and won a couple of matches here to make it through to the third round. Her career-best ranking of 49th should be surmounted by the end of this week irrespective of the result of this match but the big question is if she possesses the game to challenge an opponent of the stature of Halep.

For now, we reckon Halep should come away a straight-set winner in this.

Tip: Halep to win in straight sets: 3/5 with Unibet

Petra Kvitova v Sloane Stephens Predictions & Preview

An early thriller in the offing. Petra Kvitova, a former world number two and now seventh in the world, takes on the American Sloane Stephens, herself a former world number three and US Open champion a couple of years ago. And they have faced off three times before this with Stephens leading 2-1.

However, a lot has happened since their last match-up in 2017. Kvitova was out of action after being assaulted at home by a robber but came back to make it to the final of the Australian Open earlier this year. Stephens went on to win the US Open but has meandered to lacklustre performances after that.

Kvitova has won a couple of titles this year but that last one came in April on clay. Since then, a quarter-finals in Madrid has been her best showing, with her right calf having given her a few issues. Stephens has had a bigger struggle with just nine wins from 20 matches on the hard court surface. She was also on a three-match losing streak before this tournament, which she seems to have overcome with a couple of wins.

The Czech, however, seems odds on favourite to win this one.

Tip: Kvitova to win: 1/2 with Unibet

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Elina Svitolina v Svetlana Kuznetsova Predictions & Preview

After a first round bye, Elina Svitolina defeated Garbine Muguruza in straight sets to make the third round. Here she takes on Svetlana Kuznetsova, an opponent she has a 2-1 head to head against. Both her wins came on hard court surfaces.

Svitolina has had back to back exits following a win in her last two tournaments, but she will hope to conjure up the spirit she showed at the US Open before. There she made as far as the semi-finals before losing to Serena Williams.

Kuznetsova’s 2018 was a year to forget. She was ranked 107th in the world by the time the season ended, her worst ever in a long time and with injuries causing her to kick-start her year only in the month of April this year.

It took her till the Cincinnati Open last month to finally make it past the quarter-final stage of a tournament and she took a couple of more steps to enter the final. There she went down to Madison Keys before suffering a first round defeat to Kristie Ahn in the US Open opener.

Here at Wuhan, Kuznetsova has already won a couple of qualifiers to make it to the main draw and then brushed past Yulia Putintseva and Su-wei Hsieh to make the third round. When in flow, Kuznetsova has taken out higher-ranked opponents too like she did in Cincinnati – beating Sevastova, Stephens, Pliskova and Barty – and we can expect her to push Svitolina here.

Tip: Three sets in the match: 10/11 with Unibet

Ash Barty v Sofia Kenin Predictions & Preview

Quite clearly the match of the day. On the one side is the world number one Ash Barty who is looking to retain her top ranking on the charts and more importantly push on following her French Open title win earlier this year. On the other hand, Sofia Kenin is on a roll, with a personal best of 17th in the world and coming off a title win last week.

And adding to the spice is the previous head to head. Barty leads 3-1 with all the four matches having come in the last 15 months of so. While Barty won the first three matches, the most recent one was held at the Toronto Open where Kenin shocked the Aussie in the second round in three sets.

Barty was stretched to three sets by Caroline Garcia in her previous match, and while Kenin faced something similar from Elise Mertens, she is also on a seven-match winning streak on hard courts. Add to that, her 34-11 win-loss record on this surface and we would be looking at a tough, gritty battle that goes the distance.

Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 with Unibet