Fixture: Elise Mertens vs Ekaterina Alexandrova
Date: 14 November 2020
Tournament: Upper Austria Ladies Linz Open 2020
Venue: Linz, Austria
Category: WTA International
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $202,250
Match timing: 2.30 pm local time, 7 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Elise Mertens vs Ekaterina Alexandrova preview
Elise Mertens has been in good form since the resumption of tennis this year, having made it to as many as three WTA semifinals. And the second seed at Linz has been in decent form this week too.
She faced tough tests in the first two rounds, against Anhelina Kalinina and Vera Zvonareva, but managed to win both matches in three sets. Mertens played her best tennis of the tournament in the quarterfinal, when she took on fifth seed Veronika Kudermetova.
The Belgian won the match 6-4, 6-1, losing serve just once in a clinical display. She now locks horns with Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semifinal on Saturday.
Alexandrova is the fourth seed at Linz, and has been in excellent form herself. The Russian hasn't lost a set in three rounds, while conceding her serve just thrice. She beat Katerina Siniakova and Varvara Gracheva in straight sets, before facing sixth seed Nadia Podoroska in the quarterfinal.
What promised to be a close encounter on Friday ended up being a rout, as Alexandrova didn't let the Argentine get even a whiff at any point in the match. She held her serve throughout, running away with a lopsided 6-2, 6-1 win.
The Russian lifted their maiden WTA trophy at the Shenzhen Open earlier this year, but had a torrid time after the resumption of tennis in August. She would be looking to make amends for that with a title run in Linz this week.
Elise Mertens vs Ekaterina Alexandrova head-to-head
Elise Mertens and Ekaterina Alexandrova have met once on tour before, in the Round of 32 of the Rosmalen Championships last year. Alexandrova won that encounter 6-4, 6-1 and thus leads the head-to-head 1-0.
Elise Mertens vs Ekaterina Alexandrova prediction
Elise Mertens, with her accurate baseline play, is never an easy opponent for anyone. The Belgian has excellent groundstrokes off both wings, while also boasting of a reliable serve.
Ekaterina Alexandrova, on the other hand, has a big and hard-hitting game. She has smacked 14 aces in the tournament so far, winning over 78% of the points on her first serve. Like Mertens, she also possesses a strong backhand, and can belt winners at will from that wing.
Both players go into this match with excellent wins under their belt in the quarterfinals. It looks set to be a tight encounter, but the Russian might have a slight edge given her greater level of comfort on the court this week.
Prediction: Ekaterina Alexandrova to win in three sets.Published 14 Nov 2020, 01:37 IST