Picking up right where we left off, hopefully with the same result as two days ago. Today, Liudmila Samsonova takes on Kiki Bertens who got a first round bye as #10 seed. The Dutch is still on her way back from an Achilles injury which took her out for almost 5 months.
After undergoing surgery, Bertens missed the start of the season in Australia and only came back on tour 3 weeks ago. Since then, she lost 0-6 2-6 to Jelena Ostapenko and 1-6 4-6 to Tereza Martincova. In a sport so heavily relying on movement, the Achilles is a fundamental part of an athlete’s musculoskeletal system and hurting it is one of the crueler injuries you can suffer. I hope that Bertens feels better already, but also can’t ignore the fitness concerns here.
Facing a player that can send you from side to side, playing with good depth and power off both wings might not be Bertens’ favorite matchup right now. As I already mentioned in my previous preview, Samsonova has a pretty good tennis IQ and should be able to take advantage in longer rallies. She looked great in her win against Giorgi and won that match even more comfortably than I expected.
Both players should like the conditions here, but I’ll side with the in-form Russian over Bertens who still has to shake off some rust and probably isn’t at 100% just yet. The odds already dropped a bit, but I make Samsonova a 1.50-ish favorite in these circumstances.
1u on Liudmila Samsonova at 1.72 with bet365