Veronika Kudermetova and Sorana Cirstea will meet on USTA Billie Jean King NTC on Tuesday, August 31, in the first round of the 2021 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament. It will mark their first meeting since September 2016, when Cristea won against Kudermetova in straight sets (2-0) in Biarritz.
Veronika Kudermetova vs Sorana Cirstea
When: Tuesday, August 31 – 15:00 EDT
Where: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York
Weather: Cloudy, 30°C
Veronika Kudermetova and Sorana Cirstea will meet on the tennis court only for the second time in history. Their previous duel took place in France almost five years ago. Cirstea won that match, but a lot has changed since.
For instance, Kudermetova made some big leaps in the WTA Rankings, climbing her way to the #31 position, only three spots lower than her career-highest rating of 28. That’s eight places higher than Cirstea, who is ranked 39th in the WTA rankings, quite a bit lower than her career-best ranking of 21 (August 2013).
Their rankings could change drastically depending on how they perform at the 2021 US Open. There are plenty of ranking points up for grabs, so it’s inevitable that both players will be very motivated to deliver tonight to finish the season on a high note and take one step closer to the prestigious trophy.
Kudermetova’s Inconsistent Form
Sure, Kudermetova is an amazing player, as evident from her current ranking the WTA List. But, she could’ve been even higher if she weren’t so inconsistent with her performances. It seems that her form varies on a monthly basis, which makes it hard to trust her heading into this bout.
She started the year with some pretty impressive results. For example, she won a clay tournament in Charleston, made it to the semi-finals in Istanbul, and then reached the third round in Rome and Madrid.
However, over the last couple of months, her form has been very disappointing, to say the least. In June, she lost four of the five matches she played. In July, she played only one match, which she lost to Gabrine Muguruza (0-2) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Then, in August, she lost in Round 2 at both WTA Montreal and WTA Cincinnati.
Her record heading into this match is 2-3, with wins against Yulia Putintseva (2-1) and world no.99 Jasmine Paolini (2-0).
Cirstea Wants to Improve Her Hardcourt Record
The 31-year-old Romanian has been fabulous on clay, going 11 for 14 this year. However, the US Open is played on the hardcourt, the kind of surface that she doesn’t seem to like very much. In 2021, her record on the hard surface is at 7-8, which isn’t too convincing.
The good news is that in the past, she did more than okay in hardcourt tournaments. Last year, Cirstea went 15/8 in her 23 hardcourt matches. Furthermore, Cirstea also reached the third round of the US Open in 2020, beating Christina McHale (2-0) and Johanna Konta (2-1), and forced Karolina Muchova to the third set (1-2).
What’s slightly worrying is that similarly to Kudermetova, Cirstea seems to be out of form – she lost four of her previous five matches, beating only world no.35 Alison Riske (2-0) in Montreal.
The most recent of those defeats happened in Chicago, where Cristea lost to Tereza Martincova (1-2) in the first round of play. She had a strong start to the match and won the first set. However, Cirstea then completely switched off, and lost the next two sets.
Her other three losses happened against Emma Raducanu (0-2), Viktoria Azarenka (0-2), and Jil Belen Teichmann (0-2), who beat her in Chicago last week.
Veronika Kudermetova vs Sorana Cirstea Betting Pick
When motivated, Cirstea can turn into a very good player that’s almost impossible to beat. Will we see that side of her in her bout against Kudermetova remains to be seen. Having said that, the motivation to deliver and defeat the 24-year-old Russian should be there, as Cristea looks to improve upon her R3 exit at the 2020 US Open and make a push for her first Grand Slam trophy.
Prediction: Sorana Cirstea to win – 3.20 at bet365