Fixture: (7) Elise Mertens vs Amanda Anisimova
Date: 21 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: 12 pm CEST, 3.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Elise Mertens vs Amanda Anisimova preview
Seventh seed Elise Mertens will take on World No. 30 Amanda Anisimova in her first round match at Ostrava.
Mertens will be looking to bounce back from her third-round loss to Caroline Garcia at Roland Garros. The Belgian had begun the match with some dazzling ball-striking that enabled her to take the first set 6-1, but she failed to continue that momentum over the next two sets and ended up losing 6-1, 4-6, 5-7.
Apart from her first-round loss at Palermo, that was Mertens' earliest defeat at any tournament since the resumption of the tour. The World No. 21 has proved to be one of the most consistent players post the pandemic, having notched up a 17-6 win-loss record over the last two months.
She has also proven that an early loss at one tournament doesn't affect her morale too much for the next; after the first-round exit at Palermo, Mertens went all the way to the final at Prague. The Belgian will be looking to produce the same kind of turnaround at Ostrava.
On the other hand, injuries and personal tragedy have derailed Amanda Anisimova's progress after her semifinal run at the 2019 French Open.
Although Anisimova did start 2020 with a semifinal finish at Auckland, the struggles resurfaced for the youngster soon after. Her record for the year is a dismal 11-8, and she has come to Ostrava on the back of a crushing loss to Simona Halep in the third round of the French Open.
Anisimova will be desperately hoping to turn a corner at Ostrava, but that is easier said than done with Mertens being her first opponent.
Elise Mertens vs Amanda Anisimova head-to-head
Elise Mertens and Amanda Anisimova have squared off on the tour only once before, with Mertens leading the head-to-head 1-0. Their sole meeting took place at Indian Wells last year, where Mertens cruised to a commanding 6-4, 6-2 win.
Elise Mertens vs Amanda Anisimova prediction
Mertens' record for the year is 28-11, out of which two wins came on indoor hardcourt at the Fed Cup. Overall, she has a 32-22 record on the surface.
In contrast, the 19-year-old American has played only three indoor hardcourt matches in her short career. That inexperience could really hurt her in this matchup.
While Anisimova does have plenty of raw power, she hasn't been consistent enough with her groundstrokes this year. And the highly motivated and patient Mertens will look to take full advantage of that.
Prediction: Elise Mertens to win in straight sets.Published 19 Oct 2020, 01:53 IST