Date: 9 February, 2022
Tournament: St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: St. Petersburg, Russia
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Indoor Hardcourt
Prize money: $703,580
Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 5.30 pm IST, 12 pm GMT
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Anett Kontaveit vs Sorana Cirstea preview
Second seed Anett Kontaveit will lock horns with Romania's Sorana Cirstea in the second round of the 2022 St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy on Wednesday.
Kontaveit overcame a second-set stumble to defeat Jil Teichmann 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the first round. The win was her 16th consecutive on indoor hardcourt, a streak that commenced during her title-winning run at the Ostrava Open in September 2021.
The Estonian was in red-hot form towards the end of last year, winning four titles and finishing runner-up at the WTA Finals. She began 2022 in similar fashion, reaching the semifinals of the Sydney Tennis Classic.
Kontaveit was one of the pre-tournament favorites to win the Australian Open. However, she was knocked out in the second round by Clara Tauson. She'll now be focused on getting her season back on track in St. Petersburg.
Sorana Cirstea overcame a tough challenge from Marketa Vondrousova in the first round, prevailing 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. The Romanian showed nerves of steel in the final set, saving all eight break points she faced.
Cirstea made a statement at the start of the season, winning 6-0, 6-0 against Varvara Gracheva in the opening round of the Melbourne Summer Set. However, she lost in straight sets to Amanda Anisimova in the next round. Her woes continued at the Adelaide International, where she lost in the first round.
However, Cirstea bounced back strongly at the Australian Open, where she reached the fourth round for the second time in her career. She'll now look to build on that result in St. Petersburg.
Anett Kontaveit vs Sorana Cirstea head-to-head
The two have faced off five times before, with Kontaveit having a perfect 5-0 record against the Romanian. She won their most recent match in straight sets at the 2021 Ostrava Open. Cirstea has managed to take just one set in their five encounters so far.
Anett Kontaveit vs Sorana Cirstea prediction
Considering their lopsided head-to-head, Kontaveit will certainly be the favorite going into this contest. She loves playing in these conditions and will certainly be high on confidence.
The Estonian is an aggressive baseliner who likes to take the ball early and strike winners off both wings. She has the ability to hit almost any opponent off the court.
Kontaveit was far from flawless in her opening-round encounter, but she still managed to eke out a victory, which is a testament to her growth as a player over the last year or so.
Cirstea has also had a bit of a career resurgence in recent months, winning her second title at the 2021 Istanbul Cup. She also reached the final of the Strasbourg Open.
But her game is quite hit and miss and she is prone to lapses in concentration and unforced errors. Moreover, the Romanian has struggled mightily against Kontaveit in the past and it's unlikely she will be able to turn things around on Wednesday.
Prediction: Anett Kontaveit to win in straight sets.