Date: 22 September 2021
Tournament: Ostrava Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Approx 3.00 pm local time, 1.00 pm GMT, 9.00 am EST, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Iga Swiatek vs Yulia Putintseva preview
Top seed Iga Swiatek will launch her bid for the J&T Banka Ostrava Open title against World No. 49 Yulia Putintseva on Wednesday.
Swiatek has backed up her breakthrough 2020 campaign with a solid season. The Pole won titles in Adelaide and Rome and reached the second week of all four Slams.
Having lost in the fourth round of the US Open to Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, the World No. 6 will be eager to bounce back in Ostrava. She is currently fifth in the Race to the WTA Finals and a strong showing in the Czech city will further strengthen her position.
Three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Yulia Putintseva has had an inconsistent season but managed to taste title glory at the Hungarian Grand Prix on clay in July. She also reached a semifinal and three quarterfinals on the WTA Tour this year, which were sandwiched between a few first-round losses.
The aforementioned semifinal finish came last week at Portoroz, where the Kazakh won three matches in straight sets before bowing out to eventual champion Jasmine Paolini in three sets.
Putintseva has managed to bring that momentum to Ostrava this week. She showed excellent fighting skills and resilience in her first-round clash against Shuai Zhang on Tuesday.
The World No. 49 saved a match point en route to a 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-4 win over the Chinese in three hours and 24 minutes to set up a showdown with Swiatek.
Iga Swiatek vs Yulia Putintseva head-to-head
Iga Swiatek and Yulia Putintseva have never squared off on the tour before, so their head-to-head currently stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Iga Swiatek vs Yulia Putintseva prediction
The match is likely to see a lot of aggressive hitting from both sides of the court as both players look to dictate proceedings from the outset.
Iga Swiatek has the superior serve and that should give her the edge in this clash. Putintseva's delivery is known to be quite shaky and it could come under pressure in the face of Swiatek's returns.
The former French Open champion's experience of playing big matches will also come in handy in this clash. If the Pole can serve big and stay consistent off the ground, Putintseva is unlikely to have too many answers.
Swiatek will also be the fresher of the two players. Putintseva played a marathon first-round match, the effects of which could come into play if this contest goes the distance.
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Prediction: Iga Swiatek to win in straight sets.