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US Open 2020: Petra Martic vs Varvara Gracheva preview, head-to-head & prediction

Petra Martic at the 2020 US Open
Petra Martic at the 2020 US Open
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 04 Sep 2020, 03:33 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Petra Martic vs Varvara Gracheva

Date: 4 September 2020

Tournament: US Open 2020

Round: Third round (Round of 32)

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $39,024,000

Match timing: 11 am EDT, 8.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Petra Martic vs Varvara Gracheva preview

Varvara Gracheva at the junior 2017 French Open
Varvara Gracheva at the junior 2017 French Open

World No. 15 Petra Martic faces off against Varvara Gracheva for a place in the round of 16 at the US Open in New York on Friday.

Martic has had a solid run in the 2020 season so far, with semifinal appearances in Dubai and Palermo. The Croat boasts a decent 11-7 W/L record for the year.

Her run to the third round has also been relatively uncomplicated. After overcoming a one-set deficit against Tereza Martincova in the first round, Martic defeated Kateryna Bondarenko in more routine fashion to set up a clash against Gracheva.

The Russian on her part hadn't been in the most inspiring form upon the resumption of the WTA tour, with early exits in Palermo, Prague and Cincinnati. But she comes into this match full of confidence, after following her maiden Grand Slam main draw victory over Paula Badosa with a remarkable comeback win against Kristina Mladenovic.

The 20-year-old was down 1-6, 1-5 against Mladenovic before she rallied to close out the match 1-6, 7-6, 6-0. It was one of the biggest upsets of the tournament so far, and left the Frenchwoman absolutely stunned.

Petra Martic vs Varvara Gracheva head-to-head

The third round match at the US Open on Friday is the second meeting between the two players. Petra Martic leads the head-to-head 1-0 against Varvara Gracheva, with their only previous encounter coming last month at the Prague Open.

Martic handled that first round match against Gracheva with relative ease, registering a 7-6, 6-3 win.

Petra Martic vs Varvara Gracheva prediction

Petra Martic at the Palermo Open 2020
Petra Martic at the Palermo Open 2020

Petra Martic was the better player when the pair met in Prague last month, and she prevailed in fairly straightforward fashion. Given their respective rankings and form this year, a repeat of that result would seem likely.

But after her incredible comeback against Mladenovic, Gracheva must be feeling like she can do no wrong.

Martic has a solid all-court game and a decent serve, and can more than hold her own against any player on tour. She is carrying injuries from her run in Prague though, and would be hoping that she can maintain her fitness heading into the second week at Flushing Meadows.

To cause an upset, Gracheva will have to approach the game with the aggressive mindset she has displayed in her earlier rounds. She would also have to use the variations in her armory take control of the rallies early, because Martic will be tough to outlast from the baseline.

Prediction: Petra Martic to win in three sets.

Published 04 Sep 2020, 02:39 IST
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