Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, Preview + Prediction
R1: (7) 🇦🇺 Daria Gavrilova vs (Q) 🇯🇵 Miyu Kato
Daria Gavrilova had a great run to the semi-finals in Hong Kong last year and will be keen to go a step further in 2017 and reach her third final of the year. Gavrilova has been drawn against Japanese qualifier Miyu Kato in the opening round. Gavrilova won a tough three set match over Kato at this event two years ago in what was their only previous meeting. Gavrilova will be expecting a more comfortable victory on this occasion.
Daria Gavrilova’s form during the Asian swing has not been where she would have liked it to be. Gavrilova suffered first round defeats in Tokyo and Wuhan before being comfortably beaten by Barbora Strycova in the third round in Beijing last week. Conversely, Miyu Kato has been playing her best tennis of the year in recent times, Kato has won 9 of her last 10 matches having come through the qualifying draw to reach the final in Tokyo a few weeks ago.
Kato may be the in form player heading into this match, but Gavrilova is step up in opponent for the Japanese woman, expect Gavrilova to be too classy here. Gavrilova played great tennis at this event last year and can draw on those memories to gain momentum heading into this week. Kato is a solid player but once Gavrilova gets going in this match-up she will have too many weapons for her opponent to handle.