To sum this up: the Kostyuk form is far an away stronger than Gasparyan everywhere except perhaps indoor hardcourt. Today we are as far away as one can almost be from an indoor hardcourt.
The overall game of Gasparyan just doesn’t quite translate to the clay, which is part of the reason she doesn’t spend a lot of time on the surface. Her one win over the last 8 outings came against Pemra Ozgen, and when you consider the leaps and bounds in which Kostyuk has improved so many facets of her game over the last 6 months, it is hard to picture today being a positive one for the Russian.
I have written about Kostyuk a couple of times over the course of this year. I remarked that her significant off-season improvements were based around strength and endurance. The endurance aspect of the improvement has arguably been the most important. We saw early in the year that she is more than comfortable playing out very long three set matches. Having that stronger fitness base allows her to be more patient in rallies, and she is reaping the rewards. Her court coverage will be crucial here, as she is the one with the significant movement and fitness advantage here.
I like Kostyuk to start off strongly, and keep this to a relatively short match. There is some -5.5 games available currently at some bookmaker for a similar price, however I am happy to settle for the under 18.5 games for 1.5 units.
1.5 units total games under 18.5 at $2 (+100) at Bet365