Match Preview: Caroline Wozniacki v Jelena Ostapenko

This is the night match in Charleston later today and it features one of the most in-form players of the year. Wozniacki’s first two matches were both in straight sets were as Ostapenko has had to take a more scenic route as she’s had one straight setter, one there setter and one that only lasted on set as her opponent had to pull out with an injury. Wozniacki enters this match-up with Ostapenko as the favourite but Ostapenko does have a fighting chance.

Recent Form

Wozniacki has had a fabulous start to the season and she is ranked 3 in the Road to Singapore at the moment. Her great run started in the middle east when she made back-to-back finals in the Premier and Premier 5 events in Doha and Dubai respectively. She fell to Karolina Pliskova in Doha and then to young gun Elina Svitolina in Dubai, both in straight sets. After falling to Kristina Mladenovic in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells she fell to Johanna Konta in the Miami Open final, so it has been a VERY successful year so far for Wozniacki, to say the least. Ostapenko hasn’t had the best time recently with two first round losses in St. Petersburg and Dubai after the Australian Open series to Donna Vekic and Qiang Wang. She made the quarterfinals of Acapulco before losing to eventual champion Lesia Tsurenko but then it went downhill again. She fell in the second round of Indian Wells and first round of Miami so she will be low on confidence right now. I do think that this will have an impact on the match as Wozniacki will be feeling great and confident and Ostapenko might have her doubts.

Charleston Form

Caroline Wozniacki has played on the green clay four times in her career, between 2009 and 2013. Her best result came in 2012 when she won the title after beating Elena Vesnina in the final and her worst result came in 2013 when she fell in the quarterfinals to Stefanie Voegele. The other two times she’s played she’s reached a semifinal and a final, which means that she is comfortable and confident when she plays on the green clay in Charleston. Jelena Ostapenko had never played here before this year but she has been playing well and has looked comfortable in her first three matches in Charleston.

Head to Head Record

These two played each other last year in the first round of the New Haven Open and Jelena Ostapenko prevailed 7-5, 6-2. Although this is a legitimate and good win on Wozniacki’s favourite surface it is important to remember this is the week before the US Open, which means it is a week before Wozniacki renounced herself as a top player on the tour. Ostapenko will go in to today’s match with this on the back of her mind but I don’t think it affects the match that much because they both know Wozniacki is playing A LOT better than she was when they played last year.

Prediction

Wozniacki will be feeling free and ready for a good match when she comes out today but  Ostapenko won’t be a lot more nervous when she comes out herself. Wozniacki will rely on pure skill and she will manage to use her backhand to get an early break or double break to go up 3-0 or 4-0. Ostapenko will manage to get a service hold and a break but ultimately the set will all be in Wozniacki’s hand. Ostapenko will get frustrated and emotional, as she often does, at the end of the set and that will help the Latvian hype herself up. Wozniacki won’t be able to get an early break from an Ostapenko playing well and the level will be scored at 3-3 when Wozniacki launches her assault. After holding serve she will play the game of the match and then break Ostapenko’s before serving out the match calmly. In the end this match will end up being about who’s emotions benefit who and who’s emotions do worse for who.

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