St. Petersburg 2020: Women's singles draw analysis, preview and prediction
The tennis action in February shifts from down under onto European hardcourts as the top WTA stars arrive in Russia for the 11th edition of the 2020 St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy.
Headlining the field are defending champion Kiki Bertens, top seed Belinda Bencic and former champions Petra Kvitova, Kristina Mladenovic and Jelena Ostapenko. Add a few other talented young stars in the mix and you have a very competitive looking field.
With the main draw action set to begin on Monday, here is a look at the prospects of some of the top players in the draw.
Expected semi-final: Belinda Bencic vs Johanna Konta
Analysis: A tough road lies ahead for top seed Belinda Bencic as she could very well face the red-hot Jennifer Brady in the second round. The American would be looking to capitalise on her great start to 2020, but has a tough opening match of her own against the ever-dangerous Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Maria Sakkari also looms on Bencic's side of the draw. And for Johanna Konta, the other top seed in the half, things are looking just as tough with Elina Rybakina awaiting her innye quarterfinals.
Prediction: Svetlana Kuznetsova or Jennifer Brady vs Elina Rybakina
Expected semi-final: Petra Kvitova vs Kiki Bertens
Analysis: The road to the semi-finals looks just as difficult for the seeds in the bottom half. 2018 champion Petra Kvitova and face last year's finalist Donna Vekic might as well be the top picks to compete for the semi-final spots, provided that they manage to get over some stiff competition early on.
Kiki Bertens will open her title defence against either Yulia Putintseva or Veronika Kudermetova, both of who are very capable of staging a bit upset. Things are not going to get any for the Dutchwoman as Marketa Vondrousova and Ajla Tomljanovic loom in last eight clash.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova vs Kiki BertensPublished 09 Feb 2020, 18:47 IST