As the European clay court season looms on the horizon, the WTA Charleston Open offers players a valuable chance to get some clay-field match practice under their belt after the conclusion of the surviving half of the Sunshine Double in Miami

On day four in South Carolina there are 13 second round games on the slate and as always here at LWOT we’ll be featuring our predictions for every game on the calendar, including Shelby Rogers vs. Amanda Anisimova and Sloane stephens against Madison Keys But who will reach the third round?

It is suspected that Marketa Vondrousova will be happy to be back on clay.The Czech played some good tennis on hard courts earlier in the season, reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open and the third turn to Miami, but there’s no doubt she’s at her best on clay After receiving a pass in the first round, she is expected to start her campaign against Japan’s Kurumi Nara, who got the better of Francesca di Lorenzo in the first round after passing qualifying.

Vondrousova won the pair’s only previous meeting, which was in the 2018 Australian Open first round, but Nara has played well enough so far in Charleston to suggest it won’t be. a formality for Vondrousova The Japanese have already won three matches this week, all without losing a set, albeit against less opposition Ultimately, however, it’s hard to see Nara overcome her lack of firepower against a player of the quality of Vondrousova

After excelling on her way to the title in Monterrey, which she won without losing a set, Leylah Fernandez was no doubt bitterly disappointed to have lost in the first round of qualifying at the WTA Miami Open But the Canadian rebounded with a full 6-1 6-3 victory over Zheng Saisai in the first round in Charleston, with the victory setting up a second round clash with Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, who edged Gabriela Talaba in her opener

The experienced Kovinic, ranked 46th in the world, should not be underestimated, especially on clay nonetheless, this is surely a game Fernandez should win There are still areas in the game of 19-year-old needs improvement, especially her serve, but has seemed more and more confident to dictate from the baseline and can hurt her opponents with her forehand and backhand Expect her to prove too strong for Kovinic

It’s hard to escape the feeling that Cori Gauff’s progress has rather stabilized in recent months.This is no reason to panic, she is, after all, still only 17 years old, but it will present American a major mental test Liudmila Samsonova, meanwhile, has her own ambitions to fulfill The 22-year-old remains outside the world top 100, but has been in good shape lately, after qualifying in Adelaide and in Miami, where she reached the second round

She backed this up by beating Nao Hibino in the first round of the WTA Charleston Open, losing just three games to the Japanese veteran But it is suspected that Gauff will offer more stamina instead.The American started her week with an equally dominant victory over Tsvetana Pironkova and, although she is at her best on faster surfaces, her athleticism can make her very difficult to drill on clay Expect her to crush Samsonova

This is a testament to the high standard set by Ashleigh Barty that can be watched in 2021, which saw her win titles at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic and Miami, and still be slightly disappointed Misaki Doi, meanwhile, arrived at the WTA Charleston Open after suffering a disappointing first-round loss in Miami that dampened the momentum she had built in Doha and Dubai, but the Japanese rebounded with impressive style. , beating Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 6-3 in the first round

It seems unlikely, however, that she will manage to overtake the world No.1 Barty’s game may not seem particularly well suited to clay at first glance, but the Australian excels at making life uncomfortable for her. opponents regardless of the surface on which it is playing Her sliced ​​backhand loses some of her bite on the red dirt, but she can make up for that with a heavy forehand and precise serve In short, she surely has far too many options for Doi to contend with.

Ashleigh Barty

World News – UA – WTA Charleston Day 4 Predictions including Barty vs Doi