Astra Sharma and Natalia Vikhlyantseva will lock horns in the second round of the 2021 Palermo Open on Thursday, July 22. Get the live streaming options of this Astra Sharma v Natalia Vikhlyantseva match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Astra Sharma v Natalia Vikhlyantseva Head to Head
The two players have never met before on the WTA Tour.
Sharma Survives Stefanini
Astra Sharma had to work hard to win her opening match in the Palermo Open, defeating Italy’s Lucrezia Stefanini 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in a little over two hours. Having reached the second round in last week’s Lausanne Open, the Australian will look to best that result here.
The 25-year-old may be pleased with the season she has had so far but there is room for improvement. She won her maiden singles title in the Charleston Open by beating Ons Jabeur in the final but couldn’t quite manage to carry that form forward in the subsequent tournaments.
Owing to a litany of early-round/qualifying exits, Sharma’s ranking didn’t move much either and she remained close to her current spot of #121.
On the doubles circuit, however, Sharma has had far better luck – she won the title in the Abierto Open with Ellen Perez and settled for the runner-up trophy in Hamburg Open with Rosalie Van Der Hoek.
Vikhlyantseva Hunting her Former Glory
Natalia Vikhlyantseva, whose career-best ranking stands at World No. 54, has spent the better part of the last few seasons struggling significantly with her form. So much so that her current ranking is #180 while her W/L tally for the year stands at 4-9 as of Monday this week.
However, there is some reprieve in sight for the 24-year-old.
The 2017 Rosmalen Open runner-up defeated Leoni Kung of Switzerland in the Palermo opener with 6-3, 6-2. Just last week, the Russian had reached the quarterfinal in Lausanne – marking her best result on the tour, coincidentally, since the exact same run in Lausanne in 2019.
These results in some ways are also reminiscent of her form just four years ago when she was making waves on the WTA Tour.
Sharma v Vikhlyantseva Prediction and Tip
Sharma has momentum on her side and will start as the favourite. That said, Vikhlkyantseva is a promising player with latent abilities who looks to be on a path to resurgence. Expect an entertaining game of tennis.