The first round matches at the 2019 WTA China Open will begin from Saturday, September 28 as Karolina Pliskova leads the action on the day. Some of the matches in action include Karolina Pliskova v Jelena Ostapenka and Sofia Kenin v Garbine Muguruza and the tips and predictions for these and other matches can be found below.Get the best odds for the WTA Tashkent Open 2019 with 888Sport here.
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Karolina Pliskova v Jelena Ostapenka Predictions & Preview
World number two Karolina Pliskova will take on former French Open winner and wild-card entrant Jelena Ostapenko in their opening round match at the China Open. This will be their fifth match with Pliskova having a 3-1 lead over the Latvian, and the first of the season. On two previous occasions they have faced off on hard court surfaces with Pliskova having won both times.
And as if that record wasn’t good enough, the form exhibited by these two players has been quite contrasting in recent times. Ostapenko, a former world number five, has fallen to 74th in the world and has an overall win-loss record of 16-26 this season. On hard court surfaces it’s 7-13, and she enters the tournament on the back of a three-match losing streak.
Her wildcard comes on the back of a semi-final appearance at the China Open in 2017.
On the other hand, Pliskova is 32-8 on hard courts this year and is serving like a dream. While she lost in the third round at the Wuhan Open last week, a title win at the Zhengzhou Open before that was her fourth of the year. That’s the most she has won in any year and that includes at any level of tennis.
Surely, there cannot be any two ways about who the favourite is but we also believe Pliskova will win this with a crushing ease.
Tip: Pliskova to win in straight sets: 5/6 with Unibet
Sofia Kenin v Garbine Muguruza Predictions & Preview
You look at the individual player rankings and you would think there’s not much to separate these two players. Sofia Kenin has moved up the rankings to 17th in recent times but Mugurza is not too far behind at 26th on the WTA Rankings. And yet, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Muguruza is struggling. A title win in Monterrey in April has been the highlight of her season but since then she has been 1-4 on hard court surfaces and 6-10 overall and sliding down the rankings by the tournament.
On the other hand, Kenin has been in the form of her life, having won her first career title this season. And she has then followed that up with two more to her name, making it a third ever so recently at Guangzhou.
There were a couple of semi-finals at Toronto and Cincinnati as well, which caps her hard court season at 34-12 on win-loss. Since the start of 2018, Muguruza has won just five matches against top 10 players while Kenin has racked up those many this year itself and if anything it could come as a huge surprise if Muguruza managed to win this one.
Tip: Sofia Kenin to win: 4/7 with Unibet
Belinda Bencic v Su-Wei Hsieh Predictions & Preview
It’s a battle between the world number 10 Belinda Bencic and the 32nd-ranked Su-Wei Hsieh for a place in the second round of the China Open. Two previous meetings have both gone in favour of Bencic, both of which came on hard court surfaces and that will be a telling factor in this one too given the Swiss player’s form has only improved over the past 24 months.
The winner of the Dubai Open earlier this year, Bencic was also a finalist Mallorca but most importantly made it to the semi-final at the Indian Wells Open and then US Open recently. Her 22-11 record on hard court surfaces could have been better but it should be enough to get her past the line in these early stages of the tournament.
Bencic did stumble on her very first hurdle last week when she lost early in Wuhan last week but that was bit of an aberration whose only previous first round loss in a completed match came in Lugano on clay in April.
On the other hand, Hsieh has been a consistent performer, winning one or two matches in every tournament she has played on hard courts since Wimbledon bar one. These have included victories over Wang Qiang, Muguruza and Caroline Wozniacki, and while Bencic still starts favourite, Hsieh isn’t an opponent to be trifled with.
Tip: Over 21.5 games in the match: 10/4 with Unibet
Kiki Bertens v Donna Vekic Predictions & Preview
This could well be the match to watch among the first round matches. Kiki Bertens, ranked eighth in the world, will take on Croatia’s fast-improving Donna Vekic, who is the 23rd ranked player and one look at how their head to head has gone could well make for one to look forward to.
These two have featured in six matches before this and both have won three apiece, including two this year which has them tied at one apiece. On hard court surfaces though, Vekic has a 3-1 lead, but what makes things even more interesting is the drop in form for both since the US Open.
Vekic has played two tournaments since and has a 1-2 win-loss record. Bertens has participated in three and lost three of the four matches she has played in including one in the third round at Wuhan earlier this week.
We believe Bertens might still hold the edge but the less riskier option would be for this to be a three-setter.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 7/4 with Unibet