The Charleston tournament always produces fascinating match-ups and 2018 is no different. With first round matches done and dusted, it’s time for the top seeds to make their mark at the Charleston arena. Away from the top seeds though, there are still two interesting matches which I will be previewing in this post. Read on for Sevastova vs Dolehide and Osaka vs Siegemund previews…
1.  Anastasija Sevastova (No.16) vs [Q] Caroline Dolehide (No.142)
Sevastova has always made it clear that her favourite surface is clay and she has always delivered on the dirt the past two years, especially in 2017 where she reached five quarterfinals. Sevastova has had a decent start to this season; will she be able to bring her form over to the clay swing?
The No.8 seed’s first match on the clay will be against the talented and young 19-year-old Dolehide. Dolehide first made waves on the main circuit when she pushed Madison Keys to three sets in Stanford last year, but she had her breakthrough tournament just last month where she reached the third round in Indian Wells, beating former WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova and pushed No.1 Simona Halep to the limits there. Dolehide has continued to excel on home soil, this time on the green clay of Charleston, as she successfully qualified for the main draw and beat Johanna Larsson to book a second round ticket here.
Thoughts: It’s not going to be an easy match at all for Sevastova even with her clay court credentials. Both players have good all-court games but Dolehide possesses more power. However the backhand slice of Sevastova’s game is a great way to deal with big-hitters, and I feel that she should also do reasonably well to deal with Dolehide’s potent kick serve. I’m going for her to win this one in three sets.
Final Prediction: Anastasija Sevastova d. Caroline Dolehide in three sets
2. Laura Siegemund (No.74) vs Naomi Osaka (No.21)
My match of the day! Siegemund’s variety and on court antics versus the youthfulness and relentless power striking of Osaka’s – who will win? Siegemund beat Natalia Vikhlyantseva 7-5, 6-2 for her first WTA win since the clay court swing last year, having experienced a freak accident in Nurnburg last year. Siegemund’s game is BRILLIANT on clay and I’m so fascinated to see what she’ll be able to do on the dirt for the next few months.
Osaka is in her form of her life and is on an eight winning streak after winning her first WTA title in Indian Wells, beating the likes of Sharapova, Radwanska, Pliskova, Halep and Kasatkina in the final. Osaka was so impressive in overpowering her opponents on court yet was able to maintain consistency throughout the fortnight. Osaka seems to have a thing for the air in the US as she eased past Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-4 in Charleston a day ago.
Thoughts: Siegemund leads the head to head 2-0, however her lack of matches could be a key factor against Osaka’s relentless attacking. Although Siegemund’s variety has affected Osaka in the past, the Japanese player’s defensive skills has really improved this year under the tutelage of Sascha Bajin. I’m going for Osaka in three.
Final Prediction: Naomi Osaka d. Laura Siegemund in three sets
Charleston predictions can be found at the top of the page or by clicking the link here! Thank you for reading!