Third seeded Elise Mertens and fifth seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova are among those in action at the Shenzhen Open 2020 on Sunday, January 5. The Elise Mertens v Lesia Tsurenko & Ekaterina Alexandrova v Katerina Siniakova tips and live streams for this can be found below.
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Elise Mertens v Lesia Tsurenko Predictions & Preview
Elise Mertens has played Lesia Tsurenko in one previous match and the 73rd-ranked Tsurenko had won it in straight sets on grass in 2017. Things have changed since then, with Tsurenko having fallen nearly 40 places since that day while Mertens has gone from outside the top 50 to 17th in the world at the moment.
And as a result, the third seeded Mertens will start off this match as a favourite, having ended the previous with a qualification for the WTA Elite Trophy. She won one of the two matches she played there. Her top showing last season came at the Doha Open early in the season which she went on to win but there was a quarterfinal at the US Open as well to write home about.
As compared to that, Tsurenko struggled to win too much, finishing the previous season with a win-loss record of 14-15. That said, her best performances came on hard courts, with 10 of those 14 matches coming there. Can she put up some kind of a fight here?
Tip: Mertens to win in straight sets: 10/11 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)
Ekaterina Alexandrova v Katerina Siniakova Predictions & Preview
Over the past four years, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Katerina Siniakova have played each other four times and both players have won twice apiece. On clay, it is 1-1 with both matches having gone to three sets, while their only match on hard courts happened indoors in Linz which Alexandrova won in straight sets.
Seeded fifth in the competition, the 35th-ranked Alexandrova is currently at her career-best ranking too, having had a sterling 2019 season. Ranked 78th in the world at the end of January last year, she climbed up more than 40 places on the back of her 44-27 win-loss record which included a title win late in the season at Limoges.
That result aside, there were semifinal appearances at Linz, Seoul and Budapest which should have bolstered her confidence coming into this new season.
Siniakova, a winner at Shenzhen in 2017 and a finalist in 2018, won just 25 of her 55 matches last year which pushed her ranking down. There were a couple of semifinal appearances to show for her efforts but her struggles beyond that were surprising. Alexandrova starts a favourite but could be pushed to three sets.
Tip: Alexandrova to win in three sets: 3/1 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)
Shuai Zhang v Magda Linette Predictions & Preview
It is usually difficult to call a winner when a 40th-ranked player takes on a 43rd-ranked one but when one of them is leading the head to head 4-0, it becomes a lot easier. Three of those wins for Zhang came on hard court surfaces and while she was taken to three sets in two of them, she will be a huge favourite coming into this one.
There is a catch though. Zhang did not have a great previous year while Linette was ranked 98th at one stage during the year and bounced back to end the season at 43. Zhang remains a favourite but only just which is an indicator this might go to a third set.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 29/20 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)
Sara Sorribes Tormo v Wang Yafan Predictions & Preview
2019 was the year that saw Wang Yafan flower into a much better player and finished the season ranked 48th – her first year as a top-50 player thanks to a title win in Acapulco. Which is why despite being 0-2 to Sorribes Tormo of Spain in their career, none of those results came in 2019 which paints a different picture about how things could pan out here.
Yafan was a semifinalist at Shenzhen last year, while Tormo Sorribes struggled with her showing at the highest level. The Spaniard took to playing in the lower level tournaments to gain the points as a result. Yafan looks favourite to win this.
Tip: Wang Yafan to win: 2/5 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)