World number 32 Ekaterina Alexandrova will be up against the 77th-ranked Marta Kostyuk in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open on Monday, May 10. Get the live streaming options of this Ekaterina Alexandrova v Marta Kostyuk match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ekaterina Alexandrova v Marta Kostyuk Head to Head
No previous matches have been played between Alexandrova and Kostyuk before this.
Alexandrova 2-2 on Clay This Year
It seemed like Alexandrova had made a solid switch to clay when at the Stuttgart Open, the Russian defeated Karolina Muchova and Belinda Bencic to reach the quarterfinal there.
Continuing with her stiff draw, she then ended up meeting Simona Halep, and lost in straight sets. What made it worse was Alexandrova was then drawn to take on Victoria Azarenka in the Madrid Open last week, and while she put up a fight in that one, the world number 32 went down in three sets.
Earlier this season, Alexandrova had a middling performance on hard courts; a third round at Abu Dhabi Open and semifinal at the Gippsland Trophy was again a good start, but opening round losses in Dubai and Lyon meant she lost valuable ranking points.
Can she shrug her two-match losing streak on clay and kick-start this competition with a win, which would also be her first in Madrid.
Kostyuk Improves to 77th in the World
All of 18 years of age, Kostyuk was 169th in the world a little over a year ago. Today, she is 77th, at her career-best and with Kostyuk having never played in Madrid before this, she will only be adding more ranking points to her tally by making the main draw of this tournament.
Kostyuk did not drop a set getting there too, brushing aside Nuria Brancaccio and Nao Hibino easily in her qualifiers.
Earlier this year, the Ukrainian had made it as far as the semifinal in Istanbul, defeating Daria Kasatkina and Ana Konjuh en route.
Add the sparkle she showed on clay last season, having made the main draw at both, Prague and Roland-Garros by winning six matches in total and one could be looking at a player to watch for the future.
Here, Kostyuk would believe she has an opening against Alexandrova, who hasn’t been in the best of touches in recent times on clay.
Alexandrova v Kostyuk Prediction and Tip
Interesting to note that even bookmakers are pegging Kostyuk as a favourite with bet365 keeping her at 4/5 to her opponent’s 1/1. Backing Kostyuk to get her Russian opponent here.