Fixture: Elena Rybakina vs Daria Kasatkina
Date: 20 October 2020
Tournament: J & T Banka Ostrava Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Category: WTA Premier
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $528,500
Match timing: Not before 1.30 pm CEST, 5 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Elena Rybakina vs Daria Kasatkina preview
Sixth seed Elena Rybakina takes on Daria Kasatkina in the first round of the Ostrava Open.
Rybakina was at her best before the lockdown (winning a title in Hobart and reaching back-to-back finals in Dubai and St. Petersburg), but she comes into Ostrava on the back of some inconsistent form. Following the tennis restart, the Kazakhstan international struggled on the American hardcourts, crashing out early at both Cincinnati and the US Open.
On European clay too consistency eluded the 21-year-old, as she crashed out of Roland Garros in the second round - just days after reaching the final in Strasbourg.
Meanwhile Daria Kasatkina, despite being just 23 years of age, has a good few seasons under her belt on the WTA tour. But the Russian has definitely not been at her finest in 2020; she has failed to make a mark in any of the tournaments she has played in this topsy-turvy season.
Kasatkina comes into Ostrava on the back of an underwhelming European clay season. The 23-year-old will be raring to prove herself in what is seemingly the last big tournament of the WTA calendar.
Elena Rybakina vs Daria Kasatkina head-to-head
The meeting in Ostrava is the first ever between Elena Rybakina and Daria Kasatkina, so the head-to-head between the two players stands at 0-0. Currently, Rybakina is ranked 19th in the WTA rankings, while Kasatkina is ranked 75th.
Elena Rybakina vs Daria Kasatkina prediction
Given their overall form this year, Elena Rybakina comes into the first round encounter against Daria Kasatkina with a slight edge. And she also has the game to back that up on what is her favorite surface.
The Kazakh has reached three finals on indoor hardcourts this year (winning one). Her heavy firepower off the serve and the groundstrokes would be well-suited to the quick surface in Ostrava.
Daria Kasatkina, on the other hand, will have to resort to her tennis intelligence, which she has shown plenty of over the past few years, to stand a chance against Rybakina. The Russian will look to force longer exchanges and use groundstrokes laden with topspin to stop her hard-hitting opponent from taking the ball early.
That said, if Rybakina is on her game, she has the ability to blow Kasatkina off the court with her power.
Prediction: Elena Rybakina to win in straight sets.Published 19 Oct 2020, 13:25 IST