Fixture: Elise Mertens vs Veronika Kudermetova
Date: 13 November 2020
Tournament: Upper Austria Ladies Linz Open 2020
Venue: Linz, Austria
Category: WTA International
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $202,250
Match timing: Approx. 6.30 pm local time, 11 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Elise Mertens vs Veronika Kudermetova preview
Second seed Elise Mertens, looking to end her 2020 WTA tour season on a strong note in Linz, will face Russia's Veronika Kudermetova in the quarterfinals on Friday.
The Belgian has been in fine form this year, having won 20 matches since the tour's return from the pandemic break - which is more than anyone else in this period.
Mertens reached the final of the WTA event at Prague, where she lost to World No. 2 Simona Halep. That gave her plenty of confidence heading into the Western & Southern Open and the US Open, where she made it to the semifinals and the quarterfinals respectfully.
After an ordinary claycourt season, the World No. 21 has regained her rhythm in the indoor hardcourt season. Mertens reached the quarterfinals of the WTA event in Ostrava, where she lost to Victoria Azarenka.
The Belgian found herself in unexpected trouble against Vera Zvonareva in her second-round match on Thursday. But she managed to right the ship after dropping the second set 5-7, and ended up winning the third 6-2.
World No. 46 Veronika Kudermetova meanwhile is still looking for her breakthrough on the main tour. The Russian's performances this year had been far from impressive until a few weeks ago; she had lost five of her previous eight matches on the tour leading up to the indoors season.
Kudermetova then turned things around at the Ostrava Open, where she qualified for the main draw. She then beat the likes of World No. 5 Karolina Pliskova and Donna Vekic before losing in the quarterfinals to USA's Jennifer Brady.
Elise Mertens vs Veronika Kudermetova head-to-head
Elise Mertens leads Veronika Kudermetova by a margin of 1-0 in their head-to-head. Their only encounter took place at Cincinnati this year, where Mertens beat Kudermetova in straight sets.
Elise Mertens vs Veronika Kudermetova prediction
Elise Mertens is a strong baseline player, and has consistent groundstrokes off both wings. The Belgian likes to take the ball on the rise and redirect her shots with weight rather than go for big cuts, something which has worked well for her on the low-bouncing indoor surface.
Veronika Kudermetova has a similar game to Mertens, as she enjoys playing from the back of the court with her solid baseline game. The Russian prefers slower courts, but has been in good form on the faster courts lately.
If Kudermetova is able to keep Mertens honest from the back of the court and move her from side to side, she might have a shot at continuing her run on Friday.
Prediction: Veronika Kudermetova to win in three sets.Published 13 Nov 2020, 12:53 IST