Belgian veteran Kirsten Flipkens will be up against 21-year-old Russian Ludmilla Samsonova in their first round match of the 2020 Palermo Open. This match will begin at around 5.30 pm local time (4.30 pm BST) on Tuesday, August 4. You can find the live streaming options of this Kirsten Flipkens v Ludmilla Samsonova match along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Kirsten Flipkens v Ludmilla Samsonova Head to Head
This will be the third meeting between Flipkens and Samsonova, with both matches having come in 2019 and Flipkens having won both in straight sets. This will, however, be their first meeting on clay.
Flipkens Doubled Her Title Tally Last Year
The Belgian, who won her first WTA title in 2012, in Quebec, went without a title till the middle of 2019. It was last year, the 33-year-old doubled that tally with a stunning title win in Houston, finishing with a victory in the final against Coco Vandeweghe.
That said, Flipkens’ record on clay hasn’t been the best over the years. In 2019 itself, she lost six of her seven matches on that surface and since 2012 – which was her best year on clay by some distance, Flipkens has won just 33 matches and ended up at the wrong end on 40 occasions.
Add that to the fact Flipkens hasn’t played during this time off in the pandemic, and had played only nine matches before that too. She won just four of them, losing in the first round at Auckland, Hobart and the Australian Open before finally registering a victory. A comeback from that and on clay might not be the easiest bargain for the Belgian.
Samsonova Inching Towards a Top 100 Ranking
Russian 117th-ranked Samsonova was a semifinalist at Palermo last season but more importantly she has been moving towards the top 100 on the WTA charts. Currently 117th in the world, her best ranking was only three spots above that and it’s thanks to her showing at the lower circuit.
Samsonova has played seven matches on clay this year including the qualifiers here and lost none, dropping just two sets in the process. This also had four matches at the Italian National Tour during the pandemic break where she won all four.
Earlier in the season, Samsonova’s best showing came in Brisbane where she made the second round after going through the qualifiers, losing only to Petra Kvitova there. Since then she has been making it to the main draw regularly but never won another match from there on.
Kirsten Flipkens v Ludmilla Samsonova Prediction & Tip
While Samsonova is ranked that much lower than Flipkens in the rankings, she starts off as a favourite according to bet365, with odds of 2/5 for her win. We reckon Samsonova should win this too but the experience of Flipkens could come in handy and we might see a bit of a battle here.
Tip: Over 20.5 games in the match: 5/6 (bet365)