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Cluj-Napoca 2021: Women's singles draw analysis, preview and prediction | Winners Open

Andrea Petkovic
Andrea Petkovic
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Vedant Chandel

Former top 15 players Alize Cornet and Andrea Petkovic lead a packed field at the inaugural edition of the 2021 Winners Open. The tournament is set to be played in Cluj-Napoca, Romania from 2 to 8 August.

Also in the mix are in-form players Anna Karolina Schiemdlova and Elena-Gabriela Ruse, as well as home favorites Ana Bogdan and Mihaela Buzanescu. With main draw action set to begin on Monday, here is a look at the prospects of the top names in the fray.

Top half: Viktoriya Tomova and Martina Trevisan look to resdicover form, face Alize Cornet challenge

Alize Cornet
Alize Cornet

Top-seeded players: [1] Alize Cornet, [4] Martina Trevisan, [7] Viktoriya Tomova and [8] Kristina Kucova

Expected semifinal: Alize Cornet vs Martina Trevisan

Dark horse: Kristyna Pliskova

Top seed Alize Cornet is set to make a return to the European claycourts this week. The Frenchwoman is fresh off a successful grasscourt swing, where she scored wins over the likes of Bianca Andreescu and Garbine Muguruza.

Cornet has been handed a tricky opener against Egypt's Mayar Sherif, but will likely have enough in the tank to come through. From there on, she has a relatively straightforward path to the last eight.

Cornet could, however, face some resistance from the likes of eighth seed Kristina Kucova or home favorite Irina Bara in the quarterfinals.

Viktoriya Tomova
Viktoriya Tomova

The other seeds in the top half find themselves in similarly tough positions. While seventh seed Viktoriya Tomova faces another gritty Romanian in the form of Mihaela Buzarescu, fourth seed Martina Trevisan opens against the big-serving Kristyna Pliskova.

Pliskova in particular has shown a lot of improvement in her claycourt game, and could be the one to watch out for in the top half.

Prediction for semifinal: Alize Cornet def. Viktoria Tomova

Bottom half: Andrea Petkovic, Elena-Gabriela Ruse, Ana Bogdan and Anna Karolina Shciemdlova crowd a packed section

Ana Bogdan
Ana Bogdan

Top-seeded players: [2] Andrea Petkovic, [3] Ana Bogdan, [5] Elena-Gabriela Ruse and [6] Kaja Juvan

Expected semifinal: Andrea Petkovic vs Ana Bogdan

Dark horse: Anna Karolina Schiemdlova

Andrea Petkovic has been playing some fine tennis in the lead-up to Cluj-Napoca. Her runs to the finals and semifinals of the claycourt tournaments in Hamburg and Belgrade respectively would have filled the German with plenty of confidence.

Petkovic opens against a qualifier, but will need to be wary of Jaqueline Cristian in the second round. And if the seeds hold, the 33-year-old will run into Elena-Gabriela Ruse - her conqueror in the Hamburg final - in the quarterfinals.

Ruse has a consistent baseline-oriented game and she can cause more than a few problems for Petkovic.

Elena-Gabriela Ruse
Elena-Gabriela Ruse

Elsewhere in the half, Ana Bogdan - the highest ranked Romanian in the draw - and Slovenia's Kajan Juvan are on a collision course.

Bogdan hasn't had the best of results since her third-round run at Roland Garros, but the talnted 28-year-old could use the early matches to find her range. Juvan, on the other hand, will need to find a way past recently-crowned Belgrade 125K-champion Anna Karolina Schiemdlova early on.

Prediction: Andrea Petkovic def. Ana Bogdan

Prediction for the final

Andrea Petkovic def. Alize Cornet


Edited by Musab Abid
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