WTA 2018 Linz Open Draw: Preview & Analysis

Oct 10 4 min read

5:10 am

Julia Goerges backhand on Flickr by Charlie Cowins under CC2.0  

The Linz Open will enter its 32nd edition as the ladies line-up for the Austrian tournament starting from 8th October. Barbora Strycova is the defending champion and is seeded third. World No.10 Julia Goerges is the top seed for the event. 2016 champion Dominika Cibulkova withdrew from the event and Kristyna Pliskova entered the tournament as the lucky loser. Here is how the draw at Linz looks this year:

Top Half: Goerges, Pavlyuchenkova, Vekic, Siniakova

2012 runner-up Julia Goerges makes her eighth appearance at Linz. The German is the top seed for the event but has been ousted in the first round in two of her last three appearances at the event. She faces compatriot Andrea Petkovic in the first round who got a wildcard in the main draw. Petkovic makes her seventh appearance at Linz and her best result was reaching the semi-finals in 2010. However, Petkovic was defeated in the first round in her last two appearances at Linz in 2014 & 2015. Goerges and Petkovic are level at 2-2 in the head to head record. The winner will face qualifier Anna Blinkova or Tatjana Maria in the next round. Kristina Mladenovic makes her maiden appearance at Linz and she will face wildcard entrant Harriet Dart in the first round. The winner will face Timea Babos or Donna Vekic in the next round. While Babos makes her debut at Linz, Vekic enters the main draw of the Austrian event for the third time in her career. In her first two appearances, she made first round exits. A semi-finalist in Tokyo this year, Vekic will look forward to notch some wins at Linz as the eighth seed.

Katerina Siniakova reached the quarters at both Beijing and Wuhan and as a result has been rewarded with the ninth seed at Linz. Siniakova has lost in the first round in each of her three previous appearances at Linz and will look forward to breaking the jinx as she faces qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round. Both players are tied at 1-1 in the head to head record. The winner will face Johanna Larsson or 2013 semi-finalist Stefanie Voegele in the next round. Larsson finished as the quarter-finalist last year and heads into Linz with a 2-0 lead over Voegele. Vera Lapko has replaced Anett Kontaveit in the main draw and will now face Belinda Bencic in the first round. Bencic finished in the final eight stage last year whereas Lapko makes her debut at Linz. The winner will face Viktoria Kuzmova or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the next round. The latter won the event in 2015, whereas Kuzmova makes her second appearance at Linz. Siniakova and Pavlyuchenkova are likely to face each other in the quarter-finals. The Russian has a 3-0 lead over the Czech in the head to head record. In the other quarter-final, Vekic and Petkovic may face off if they are able to get past their initial round matches. Both players have won one match apiece against each other.

Probable semi-finals: Vekic vs Pavlyuchenkova

Bottom Half: Bertens, Strycova, Giorgi, Puig

Kiki Bertens reached the round of 16 at Linz in 2012. But since then, in her four appearances at Linz, she has made first round exits. Entering as the second seed this year, Bertens will face wildcard entrant Barbara Haas in the first round. The winner will face Margarita Gasparyan or Monica Puig in the second round. Puig defeated Gasparyan in their lone meeting at New Haven earlier this year. 2014 runner-up Camila Giorgi is the fifth seed at Linz and will face Pauline Parmentier in the first round. The winner will face Sorana Cirstea or qualifier Jil Teichmann in the next round. Cirstea and Giorgi are likely to setup a fourth career meeting against each other. Giorgi leads Cirstea 2-1 in head to head record. Bertens and Giorgi are the likely quarter-finalists based on seedings and the pair are tied at 1-1 in the head to head record.

Barbora Strycova will begin her title defense by facing Kirsten Flipkens for the sixth time in her career. Flipkens leads their head to head record 3-2. The winner will face Kristyna Pliskova or Valentini Grammatikopoulou in the second round. Last year's runner-up Magdalena Rybarikova will face Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round. Rybarikova has lost all her three meetings against the Belgian. The winner will face Anna Schmiedlova or Fiona Ferro in the next round. Both players made their way into the main draw after getting through the qualifying draw. Strycova is likely to face van Uytvanck in the quarter-finals. The Czech leads their head to head 2-1 but it was the Belgian who won their last meeting at Luxembourg in 2015.

Probable semi-finals: Strycova vs Bertens