2020 Prague Open: Draw preview and predictions
Photo: Photosport

The WTA Tour continues this week with the Prague Openthe second clay court tournament to be played since tennis' restart following the event in Palermo. The top seed is Simona Halep, who will be back in action after withdrawing last week..

First quarter

Projected matchup: (1) Simona Halep vs (6) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 

Back on her favorite surface, the Romanian doesn't have the easiest first round opponent in Polona Hercog and she could face countrywoman Patricia Maria Tig, who will have to get by Barbora Krejcikova first. These should be matches Halep handles with little difficulty.

Pavlyuchenkova looks for a deep run in her return to action/Photo: Agence Presse France
Pavlyuchenkova looks for a deep run in her return to action/Photo: Agence Presse France

Sixth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has already announced she will skip the US Open, but she should be able to handle Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus, but will have a significantly tougher challenge against Anastasija Sevastova in round two after the Latvian disposes of a qualifier in round one. 

Prediction: Halep def. Pavlyuchenkova

Second quarter

Projected matchup: (4) Dayana Yastremska vs (7) Barbora Strýcová

The loss in the Palermo quarterfinals was hugely disappointing for fourth seed Dayana Yastremska, who had played solid tennis all week until she stumbled against Camila Giorgi. She should be able to handle Irina-Camelia Begu before advancing to a matchup with either Aliona Bolsova or Fiona Ferro.

Yastremska is primed for a deep run in Prague/Photo: Tennis World USA
Yastremska is primed for a deep run in Prague/Photo: Tennis World USA

Laura Siegemund is always a dangerous clay-court player and after getting by a qualifier, she will play either Sara Sorribes Tormo or seventh seed Barbora Strycova. The German will fancy her chances against either opponent and has a good chance to go far at this event.

Prediction: Yastremska def. Siegemund

Third quarter

Projected matchup: (8) Veronika  Kudermetova vs (3) Elise Mertens

This could be the toughest quarter in the draw with a number of possibilities. On the rise, Veronika Kudermetova has one of the more intriguing first-round opponents in Eugenie Bouchard, who was granted a wild card into the main draw. The winner of that match faces Tamara Zidansek or home hope faces Katerina Siniakova.

Giorgi is in good form, having reached the semifinals in Palermo last week/Photo: WTA
Giorgi is in good form, having reached the semifinals in Palermo last week/Photo: WTA

Third seed Elise Mertens was soundly beaten in the first round of Palermo by Aliaksandra Sasnovich and she will play Jasmine Paolini, her would-be second round opponent from last week. Giorgi faces a qualifier and will fancy her chances in the second round against the Italian or Belgian. 

Prediction: Giorgi def. Kudermetova

Fourth quarter

Projected matchup: (5) Ekaterina Alexandrova vs (2) Petra Martic

Quite frankly, second seed Petra Martic couldn't have asked for a better draw. Already with momentum from her semifinal in Palermo, the Croat should cruise past Varvara Gracheva and will play a Czech in the second round, either Kristyna Pliskova or wild card Linda Fruhvirtova.

Martic should have no problem reaching at least the semifinals/Photo: Tullio Puglia/Getty Images
Martic should have no problem reaching at least the semifinals/Photo: Tullio Puglia/Getty Images

The all-Russian match between fifth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova and Daria Kasatkina is the most interesting first round contest with the winner favored in the next match against either Ana Bogdan or a qualifier. This is by far the most predictable quarter and it would be a major surprise if anyone other than Martic got through it.

Prediction: Martic def. Kasatkina

Semifinals

Halep def. Yastremska, Martic def. Giorgi

Final 

Halep def. Martic

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