TennisSection previews the 2023 Linz Open as Jule Niemeier takes on Sofia Kenin in the first round on Monday, February 6, 2023.
Will Jule Niemeier get the better of Sofia Kenin again? It is an intriguing first-round matchup at the WTA Linz Open. Who will prevail?
Jule Niemeier will be looking to atone for last week’s mishap at the Lyon Open. The big-hitting German totally dominated Camila Osorio and served for both the first and second sets. Yet somehow, she lost in straight sets. It’s the kind of collapse we don’t usually associate with the 23-year-old who is such a solid baseliner, especially on fast surfaces. Niemeier is a disappointing 1-5 ahead of her Linz Open debut where she will play 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
Sofia Kenin, meanwhile, has taken some positive steps in her recent renaissance. The former Grand Slam winner began the season in Auckland where she lost to eventual champion Coco Gauff in the Round of 16. However, things got better for Kenin in Hobart where she reached her first WTA semifinal in three years. Although her Australian Open campaign ended at the first hurdle, it is pertinent to note that she drew the short straw, playing eventual semifinalist Victoria Azarenka.
Jule Niemeier leads Sofia Kenin 1-0 in their head-to-head. They played each other in the first round of the US Open last year where Niemeier scored a hard-fought straight-sets win. We envisage another barnburner at the Linz Open. Kenin is inching closer to finding her best tennis. But Niemeier has an upside to her game that should give her the edge in these conditions.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Jule Niemeier in 3 sets
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