World number 37 Magda Linette will face Latvia’s 43rd-ranked Jelena Osatapenko in the opening round of the 2020 WTA Italian Open on Monday, September 14. The match kick-starts at around 3 pm local time (2 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Magda Linette v Jelena Osatapenko match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Magda Linette v Jelena Osatapenko Head to Head
This will be the third time that Linette and Ostapenko will be facing off in a competitive match. Both previous matches have been won by Ostapenko, including once at Fed Cup in 2018.
Linette Inching Back to Her Best
With a title in 2020, which Linette won at the Hua Hin Open just before the competitions were suspended because of the pandemic, the Pole is getting back to her career-best ranking of 33rd. Since the tour resumed in August, Linette has done enough to justify her current ranking of 37th with a second round appearance at the Lexington Open and third round at the US Open.
If she wants to take that step up, however, Linette will need to start getting deeper into tournaments like this one in Rome or the French Open later this month. The trouble is, Linette’s not a very big fan of clay courts.
This year, Linette’s not played a single match on this surface. Last season, she had played nine and lost seven of the, while having a less than modest win-loss record of 12-14 in the two seasons before that.
In short, while Linette’s done well this season so far, the lack of clay court matches this year – she is yet to play one – and her own poor record on this surface will make it supremely difficult for her coming into this tournament.
Osatapenko Has Barely Won on Clay Since That French Open Triumph
Latvia’s Ostapenko is a 2017 French Open champion. And since then, she has won almost nothing on that surface, which is bit of a surprise.
In the season following her French Open title win, Ostapenko finished with a win-loss of 3-4. And it got worse in 2019, when she lost seven of her 10 matches on that surface.
Interestingly enough, Ostapenko looked like she was turning things around under new Marion Bartoli when she went on to win her first title in a couple of seasons at Luxembourg but her results have left a lot to desire this year.
A second round exit at the Australian Open, first round ouster at the St. Petersburg Open and two defeats in the exhibition matches of the Merko Cup during the break means she comes into this tournament with poor results and rustiness under her belt. Tough times ahead despite playing an opponent who’s not the best on clay.
Linette v Osatapenko Prediction & Tip
While both players in this encounter have their own struggles to contend with, Linette’s been playing on the circuit for the past month or so and that should give her an edge over Ostapenko’s lack of practice.
Tip: Linette to win: 8/11 (bet365)