The 2019 WTA St Petersburg Open has reached the second round of competition where Maria Sharapova will face Daria Kasatkina.
Daria Kasatkina is the number 3 seed and therefore received a bye in the opening round of the tournament. It has been a very tough start to the 2019 season for Kasatkina as she has failed to win a match all season. Daria Kasatkina’s previous match was at the Australian Open where she was comfortable beaten in straight sets. It was especially disappointing to watch Daria Kasatkina serve as she won only 1 service game in the entire match. Daria Kasatkina will look to turn her form around although it will be tough as she is facing a very experienced and accomplished opponent.
On the other hand, Maria Sharapova won her opening round fixture with ease as she beat Daria Gavrilova in straight sets. It was a dominant performance by Sharapova as she won 88% of her service games while breaking her opponents serve on 5 occasions. Sharapova has had a strong start to the 2019 season as she made the quarterfinals of the Shenzhen Open and the fourth round of the Australian Open. Sharapova is highly accomplished as she has won all 4 Grand Slams in her career. With her form returning, Sharapova looks very hard to beat.
Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sharapova have played once in the past. The match was played in 2018 at the Rogers Cup where Maria Sharapova won in straight sets.
All in all, I am going to pick Maria Sharapova to win this match. While Daria Kasatkina is higher ranked, she looks in poor far and lacks the experience possessed by Maria Sharapova. Sharapova is playing good tennis and I see her winning this match and making the third round of the St Petersburg Open.