World number 24 Donna Vekic will be up against Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus in their WTA Palermo Open opening round fixture. The match has been scheduled for Monday, August 3 and will be the first match of the day to begin at 4 pm local time. You can find the live streaming options of this Donna Vekic v Arantxa Rus match along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Donna Vekic v Arantxa Rus Head to Head
It’s been four years since Vekic, then 20 years old, had taken on Rus in their only match till date. Vekic had won that one in three sets, bagelling her opponent in the first, dropping the second before completing the victory 6-1 in the third. It came at an ITF event though.
Vekic Coming off a Coach Split
It’s been only a few weeks since Donna Vekic split up with her coach Torben Beltz, and that had led to some controversy too. On the surface of it, it seemed like Vekic and Beltz had different reasons for the split with the latter claiming in a tweet it was because of the differences between them on practice and tournament schedules.
Vekic responded back with a “Well, this is the first time I’m hearing of different views in practice and tournament schedules…?” leading to question-marks over what actually had transpired between the two. Interestingly, Beltz has now joined Angelique Kerber’s coaching setup.
That said, Vekic will hope to find her feet for the season after going into the pandemic-induced break with a 5-5 win-loss record this season. That included an opening round exit at the Brisbane International and another at the Doha Open with the third round entry at the Australian Open being her best result.
What might have particularly rankled Vekic is her twin-losses to Iga Swiatek, the teenaged Pole, coming in the space of a month. Having not played a single match during the break, opting out of any exhibition tournament means Vekic will need to get back into rhythm quickly and hope she can replicate some of her form from the last year.
Arantxa Rus is Home on Clay
70th-ranked Rus has never seen the inside of the top 60 on the WTA rankings and is yet to win a WTA competition. That said, however, she had an extraordinary 2019 season at the lower circuit, winning 10 tournaments in total.
What makes things slightly more comfortable on clay having won 17 of her 23 lower-level competitions titles on that surface. After failing to qualify for the Hobart International and falling in the second round at the Australian Open, Rus was a finalist at an ITF event at Andrezieux-Boutheon and then made the semifinal in Cairo.
A first round loss followed at Acapulco but she shrugged that off with a sterling performance at Monterrey where she made the semifinal before losing to Elina Svitolina.
Donna Vekic v Arantxa Rus Prediction & Tip
Vekic might begin as the favourite with an offer of 4/9 to win this but expect nothing short of a fight in this match given the poor start to her season and the longish break. A result we reckon might not be a straightforward one and the match could go down to three sets.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 13/8 (bet365)