Fixture: (8) Marta Kostyuk vs Kaia Kanepi
Date: 24 August 2021
Tournament: Chicago Women's Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Chicago, United States
Category: WTA 250
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $235,238
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Marta Kostyuk vs Kaia Kanepi preview
Marta Kostyuk and Kaia Kanepi came through contrasting wins on Sunday to set up an exciting second-round clash at the 2021 Chicago Open.
First out on center court, Kostyuk got past Canada's Katherine Sebov in straight sets. The Ukrainian fended off a strong fightback from her opponent in the second set to close out a 6-0, 6-3 win.
Kanppi, on the other hand, needed two hours and 21 minutes to dispatch another Ukrainian, Anhelina Kalinina. The Estonian came back strongly after losing the lead in the decider before eventually prevailing 7-5.
Kanepi is now on a six-match winning streak, having captured an ITF title at her home event a couple of weeks ago. She will be looking to carry the momentum deeper into the tournament here.
Marta Kostyuk vs Kaia Kanepi head-to-head
This is set to be the first meeting between Marta Kostyuk and Kaia Kanepi, so their current head-to-head currently stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Marta Kostyuk vs Kaia Kanepi prediction
Both Marta Kostyuk and Kaia Kanepi have similarly power-packed games and enjoy dictating play from the back of the court. Thus, this second-round encounter could well turn into a baseline slugfest.
Kostyuk looked sharp at the start of her first-round encounter against Sebov, but began to struggle when the Canadian raised her level. Kostyuk leaked a few too many forehand errors under pressure, and had to bring out her best in a highly competitive second set.
Kanepi, on her part, has always employed a high-risk game. The Estonian relies on her powerful groundstrokes and big serve to win quick points, and it was the latter shot that helped her prevail in the match against Kalinina as well.
Both Kostyuk and Kanepi are looking to rediscover the form that they were in at the start of the season. A strong finish in Chicago would no doubt come as a huge boost to their confidence.
Kanepi should have a slight edge going into the contest, given that she possesses the better all-round game. If the Estonian can manage to direct the traffic to Kostyuk's vulnerable forehand, while keeping her own error count in check, she should have enough firepower to pull off an upset here.
Prediction: Kaia Kanepi to win in three sets.