Zhang Shuai vs Anastasija Sevastova
|Date & Time||Thursday November 1, 2018, 7:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Zhang Shuai will play Anastasija Sevastova in the group stages of the 2018 WTA Elite Trophy in China.
Zhang Shuai lost her opening round match to Garbine Muguruza in 3 sets. It was a tough defeat for the Chinese superstar as Zhang managed to win the opening set before Muguruza showed her class and won the second and third sets. The biggest issue for Zhang during the defeat was her serve as she allowed Muguruza to win 5 return games while she could only break the Spaniards serve 3 times. During the defeat, Zhang had a first serve percentage of only 56% which was a big issue for the Chinese superstar as she won only 53% of the points played from her second serve. Zhang will need to improve her first serve in this match as Sevastova is a very powerful baseline player and is exceptional at exploiting second serves.
On the other side of the coin, Anastasija Sevastova enters this tournament in exceptional form. Sevastova finished second at the China Open while also making the semifinals at the Kremlin Cup and the US Open. It has been a good season for Anastasija Sevastova as she has won 1 WTA title while also finishing second at 2 WTA events.
Zhang Shuai and Anastasija Sevastova have played 3 times in the past with Sevastova winning twice and Zhang winning once. The most recent match was at the 2017 Madrid Masters where Anastasija Sevastova won in straight sets. Zhang’s win over Anastasija Sevastova was in 2012. All of the prior matches between Anastasija Sevastova and Zhang Shuai have been played on clay.
While Zhang will look to win this match to keep her tournament alive, I see Anastasija Sevastova winning. Anastasija Sevastova is an exceptional baseline player and I see her exploiting Zhang’s second serve very effectively. With many chances to win return games for Anastasija Sevastova, I see her winning this match.