World number 54 Ludmilla Samsonova will face Chinese 18-year-old Zheng Qinwen in the first round of the 2021 Palermo Open on Monday, July 19. Get the live streaming options of this Ludmilla Samsonova v Zheng Qinwen match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ludmilla Samsonova v Zheng Qinwen Head to Head
Samsonova and Zheng have never faced off in a competitive match before this.
Samsonova Relishing New-Found Success
She was never ranked in the top 100 since making her professional debut in 2013 when she played on the ITF circuit.
Never, till June this year that is.
It was her maiden WTA title to go with a solid performance at Wimbledon which helped Samsonova not only break into the top-100 but also carve out a career-best ranking of 54 on the WTA charts.
What made those performances special was the kind of opponents she sent packing to achieve an 8-1 win-loss record on grass; the likes of Marketa Vondrousova, Veronika Kudermetova, Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka, Belinda Bencic, Jessica Pegula and Sloane Stephens were all sent by the wayside before she finally lost to Karolina Pliskova.
The question now would be if Samsonova can translate that form into performances on clay, a surface she has struggled on this year. Of the six tournaments she has played on dirt, Samsonova has won a round at three of them but nothing beyond.
Can she ride on her form to do well on clay as well?
Qinwen on WTA Debut
Such have been Qinwen’s performances since she turned pro a couple of years ago, that it was always going to be a matter of time before she jumped over to the main draws in WTA tournament.
This can be seen from the manner in which she dropped a total of five games over two completed qualifying round matches to get to the main draw.
Or the way Qinwen won two ITF titles this season and reached the semifinal of two others, to go with her four titles last season.
Over the past two seasons starting in 2020, Qinwen has won 60 matches on the lower circuit and lost just 14, the secret behind her jump from 650th in the world to her current ranking.
And by qualifying for this main draw one can expect her to jump a few spots further but can she take advantage of her opponent’s poor run on clay?
Samsonova v Qinwen Prediction and Tip
This could turn out to be an interesting one. Samsonova has been in form but hasn’t done well on clay while Qinwen is on debut but coming off some rocking performances on this surface. Can we see Qinwen cause an upset?