It was Kasatkina who won their only previous meeting. That was in January this year in Auckland and she won in 3 sets on a hard court after losing the opening set in a tie break. The young Russian has had a decent season so far and that has seen her ranking improve from 75th at the start of the year to her current 29th. She had a comfortable win in the 1st round over American Victoria Duval and then came through a potentially tough match with Arruabarrena in 2 close sets.
Venus had a fairly favourable draw but has had to work hard to get her two wins. Vekic pushed her really close in both their sets and served for the opening set but it was Venus who won in 2. In the second round it was Greek player Maria Sakkari’s turn to trouble the former world number 1 and after Venus took the first set it was Sakkari who was stronger in set 2 to take it into a third and deciding set.
Venus starts around 1.55 and i don’t expect this match to be any easier for her than the previous rounds. I will be laying whoever breaks first in the opening games. Three sets won’t surprise anyone here.
I would give Venus the slightest of edges on these courts.