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Strasbourg 2020: Women's singles draw analysis, preview and prediction

Karolina Pliskova is the top seed at the Strasbourg tournament this year
Karolina Pliskova is the top seed at the Strasbourg tournament this year
ANALYST
Modified 19 Sep 2020, 23:44 IST
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In the absence of defending champion Dayana Yastremska, World No. 4 Karolina Pliskova will lead a highly competitive field at the 2020 Internationaux de Strasbourg.

The other top names to feature in the draw for the tournament - the last stop ahead of the French Open - include top 10 stars Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens, as well as Grand Slam winners Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko.

With main draw action set to begin on Monday, here's a look at the prospects of the top players in the draw.

Top half: Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens face seasoned claycourters

Sloane Stephens is one of the two Grand Slam winners in this half
Sloane Stephens is one of the two Grand Slam winners in this half

Expected semifinal: Karolina Pliskova vs Kiki Bertens

Analysis: Top seed Karolina Pliskova has been handed a rather tricky draw, with two Grand Slam winners looming in her section. Having received a bye in the first round, the Czech player could face Jelena Ostapenko in her first match.

Pliskova has the game to fend off any Ostapenko storm, but stronger opposition awaits her in the form of the winner of a likely Sloane Stephens vs Barbora Strycova Round of 16 encounter.

Kiki Bertens, the other top seed in this half, also faces a few tough early matches - against talented teenager Clara Burel and hard-hitting Aussie Ajla Tomjlanovic. Claycourt specialists Alize Cornet and Polona Hercog, the latter of whom upset the Dutchwoman in Rome, also crowd this section of the draw.

Predicted semifinal: Karolina Pliskova vs Polona Hercog or Alize Cornet

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Bottom half: Elina Svitolina faces nightmare draw

Elina Svitolina has been handed a difficult path to the last eight in Strasbourg
Elina Svitolina has been handed a difficult path to the last eight in Strasbourg

Expected semifinal: Aryna Sabalenka vs Elina Svitolina

Analysis: Aryna Sabalenka starts off against a qualifier, but could face some stiff resistance from the likes of Ana Blinkova, Hsieh Su-Wei or Ekaterina Alexandrova later.

Elina Svitolina meanwhile has been handed the most tricky draw of all the seeds at this year's tournament. The second seed is likely to open against Magda Linette, who will be eager to regain her form from last year after a few disappointing losses in recent months.

Amanda Anisimova will be looking to give Svitolina a tough fight in the last eight, but will first need to take care of a solid looking Jil Tiechmann. If she gets past that hurdle, the American will face the winner of the intriguing first-round clash between Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Alison Van Uytvanck.

Predicted semifinal: Aryna Sabalenka vs Elina Svitolina

Published 19 Sep 2020, 23:44 IST
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