Short preview breaking down the draw of the J&T Banka Prague Open.
First quarter: Headlined by (1) Karolina Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova, the top seed in Prague, will be trying to get more matches on the dirt after having only played two matches in Stuttgart, losing to Stuttgart stalwart Laura Siegemund in the quarterfinals. She has a tough first rounder in Camila Giorgi, but the Italian doesn’t really go well with clay. Her second round opponent will either be Wang Quang or Maria Sakkari, then Annika Beck or Zhang Shuai looms as a quarterfinalist.
Second quarter: Headlined by (3) Barbora Strycova
Two Czech players headline this quarter. Barbora Strycova, the higher ranked Czech, has a difficult first round opponent in Julia Goerges. Their HTH is tied at 4-4, while Strycova won their previous encounter in Biel this year. I would probably go with Goerges, on clay Strycova’a less reliable. The other Czech, Katerina Siniakova starts off with Danka Kovinic, who has a horrible 2-10 W-L record in 2017.
If the draw holds up, defending champion Lucie Safarova and Samantha Stosur will face off once again… It’s a baffling head to head with Safarova leading it 11-4! Their previous encounter was in last year’s Prague Open final where Safarova won. But first Safarova will have to get past Kristina Kucova and either Jankovic or Kristyna Pliskova in the round of 16. Stosur has an easier task with Rodina in the first round.
Fourth quarter: Headlined by (2) Caroline Wozniacki
Really surprising Caroline Wozniacki opted to play Prague instead of Stuttgart… Interesting choice but it gives Wozniacki a huge chance to clinch her first title of 2017. Her biggest challenges would probably be Ana Konjuh, Marketa Vondrousova (who has a 41-5 Win Loss record!) or Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Wozniacki in Charleston this year.
Finalists: Siniakova, Wozniacki
Full draw and daily predictions for Prague will be out soon. 🙂