Fixture: Hsieh Su-Wei vs Elise Mertens
Date: 14 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: 4 pm CEST, 7.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Ten 2
Hsieh Su-Wei vs Elise Mertens preview
After choosing to skip the European clay-court tournaments and the US Open series held on August, Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-Wei is now set to make a return to tennis at the 2020 Italian Open.
Hsieh has been nursing an ankle injury, which restricted her training schedule and forced her to pull of the US Open. She is, however, hopeful of playing in Paris and has taken a late entry into Rome to get the extra match practice.
But the crafty Taiwanese will have her work cut against her first round opponent Elise Mertens, who has showcased some of her best tennis in the past few weeks.
Mertens was quick to move past her disappointing return to the tour at Palermo and has raked in a flurry of big results since. Not only did she have deep runs at the next two tournaments, but she also shocked Sofia Kenin en route her second consecutive US Open quarterfinal.
The results are hardly a surprise though. The Belgian has a solid game built around powerful groundstrokes and efficient movement, and has been making steady strides towards a big breakthrough.
These last couple of weeks would have done a great deal to help with her confidence heading into the last leg of the tour, and it will be a mammoth task for Hsieh to find a way to stop her.
Hsieh Su-Wei vs Elise Mertens head-to-head
Elise Mertens leads the duo's head-to-head by a slender 2-1 margin. The last time that the two women played, the Belgian managed to come through in a tough three-set battle.
Hsieh Su-Wei vs Elise Mertens prediction
Elise Mertens is the definite favorite heading into this one. The 11th seed has the more power-packed game of the two, and will look to dictate play from the baseline.
Mertens also enjoys playing on the slower clay, where her movement really aides her in hanging on in longer points.
The odds are stacked firmly against Hsieh, and she will have to come out with all her special trick shots and slices to try and upset her opponent's rhythm. Unless she can manage to find a way to keep Mertens on the run, Hsieh could find herself struggling in this one.
Prediction: Elise Mertens to win in three sets.Published 14 Sep 2020, 06:24 IST