Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Daria Kasatkina: Prague Open Preview and Prediction
It is a battle between two exciting Russians as Ekaterina Alexandrova locks horns with Daria Kasatkina in the Prague Open.
World number 27, Alexandrova was on the verge of exiting the Palermo Open after losing the first set to Kristina Mladenovic in the round of 32. But she bounced back to win the next two sets 6-0, 6-1.
The Russian went on to lose in straight sets in the pre-quarterfinals against Fiona Ferro.
With just a 51% winning percentage on her first-serve and converting just two out of eight break point opportunities, it was a match to forget for Alexandrova.
On the other hand, Kasatkina also participated in the Palermo Open losing a three-setter to Jasmine Paolini. The World number 66 was in control after winning the first set 7-5. However, she lost the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 to lose the encounter that lasted over three hours.
With a sloppy 44% winning percentage on her first serve, Kasatkina could not grab the crucial moments converting only 10 out of 34 breakpoints.
Strengths of Alexandrova
A big-serve, effective baseline game and smart netplay are her biggest strengths. However, the Russian must be more offensive during the big points. She must also try to reduce her count of unforced errors.
Strengths of Kasatkina
Her top-spin heavy forehand, tremendous court coverage and an effective slice are the Russian's weapons. Kasatkina must improve her first-serve to improve her chances of being a threatening player.
Head to Head record
Both the players are tied 1-1 in their head to head record. This is the first time, Alexandrova and Kasatkina are playing each other on clay.
Clay is not the favourite surface for the fifth-seeded, Alexandrova having won just three out of ten matches played in the last season. Having lost in the opening round in five tournaments this year, Kasatkina will be looking for a turnaround in fortunes.
Prediction - Daria Kasatkina to win in three sets
Featured image credits: sofascore.com