Experienced Latvian Anastasija Sevastova will play Italian wildcard Jasmine Paolini in the first round of the 2020 Italian Open on Monday, September 14. The match will be played at around 3 pm local time (2 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Anastasija Sevastova v Jasmine Paolini match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Anastasija Sevastova v Jasmine Paolini Head to Head
This will be the first time ever these two players will be facing off in an encounter.
Sevastova on a Downward Trend in 2020
Since turning pro in 2006, Anastasija Sevastova has won a WTA title in each of the last three seasons. There was a short-lived retirement in 2013 due to injury and illness, before she embarked on a hugely successful second coming.
Her very first title win came in 2010, and she would wait seven years to claim the aforementioned three-peat. But 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for the experienced Latvian to make any imprint on the WTA tour.
She has won just two matches all year, with her biggest highlight coming in February when she handed Serena Williams her first-ever defeat in a Fed Cup singles rubber in Washington.
Sevastova’s other win came at the US Open when she beat the highly-talented American teenager Coco Gauff in three sets. Her ranking has since fallen off a cliff, from a career-high ranking of world no.11 just two years ago, to world no.45 at the moment.
The 30-year-old’s record in Rome is not the prettiest, making a Round of 16 once in 2018, although she was beaten in the first round by Belinda Bencic last season.
Paolini Looking To Impress As Wildcard
Since making her Grand Slam main draw debut at the French Open in 2019, Jasmine Paolini’s career seems to be on an upward trajectory. The Italian backed that achievement with quarterfinal finishes at WTA level in Guangzhou (pushing Sofia Kenin close) and Palermo respectively.
The 24-year-old would then crack the top-100 for the first time towards the end of last year after a run to the Tokyo ITF W100 final. Paolini’s progress has caught the eye of the tournament organizers in Italy recently. She was granted a wildcard on her return to Palermo following the tour’s restart, and she upset former top-10 player Daria Kasatkina in the first round.
In Prague a week later, she came very close to causing an upset in a three-set defeat to five-time WTA titlist Elise Mertens. Despite being one of the shortest players on tour, Paolini possesses some bold shot-making and is very agile from the baseline.
Can she repay the locals with another big performance on day one in Rome?
Sevastova v Paolini Prediction & Tip
Sevastova has been in terrible form this year, but is one of the few WTA players who can mix things up in her game to complicate situations for her opponents.
That is exactly what she did against Coco Gauff in New York. Her slice and deft drop shots are a nightmare for players whose only decision-making is to hit the ball back with power. It wouldn’t come as a surprise should Paolini win here, but the best bet would be a three-setter.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)