Fixture: Bernarda Pera vs Svetlana Kuznetsova
Date: 15 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Round: First Round (Round of 64)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: WTA Premier 5
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,771,082
Match timing: 2.30 pm CEST, 6 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN
Bernarda Pera vs Svetlana Kuznetsova preview
After a decent performance in the hardcourt season, Bernarda Pera will look to improve her record on clay when she locks horns with former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Italian Open.
Pera has a 2-3 win-loss record after the COVID-19 break. She won her first-round matches at the Western & Southern Open and the US Open but could not make it past the second round at either event. Pera also lost to Serena Williams at the Top Seed Open in Lexington.
Former World No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova lost her first match after returning to the WTA Tour. Playing against qualifier Eugenie Bouchard in Istanbul, Kuznetsova lost 6-7, 7-6, 2-6.
As for her performances before the COVID-19 break, Kuznetsova had qualified for the Qatar Open semifinals, registering a straight-set win over the fourth seed Belinda Bencic. However, she couldn't beat the ninth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinal.
She had also recorded a victory against Marketa Vondrousova at the Australian Open 2020.
Bernarda Pera vs Svetlana Kuznetsova head-to-head
This first-round battle will be the first meeting between Bernarda Pera and Svetlana Kuznetsova on the WTA tour, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Kuznetsova is an all-round player who has achieved plenty of success on clay. She does not have many weaknesses, but in her recent match against Eugenie Bouchard, the Russian player committed five double faults.
Bernarda Pera will look to make the most out of Kuznetsova's service errors, given how Bouchard successfully did that last week. The Canadian broke Kuznetsova's serve five times in the match and secured 49 points on the return.
Pera plays aggressively, and she could trouble the Russian with her weight of shot. However, she could only convert two out of 10 break point opportunities against Maria Sakkari at the US Open, which suggests a lack of efficiency on the big points.
Bernarda Pera vs Svetlana Kuznetsova prediction
Even though she lost last week, it should be noted that that was Svetlana Kuznetsova's first competitive match after the long break. Moreover, Bernarda Pera does not have a great record on clay, and she will likely have her hands full against the Russian's defense on Tuesday.
Prediction: Svetlana Kuznetsova to win in straight sets.Published 14 Sep 2020, 18:53 IST