Panelists Predictions Wimbledon Women’s Day 1 Matches–Including Azarenka vs Bellis

Victoria Azarenka Wimbledon
Spread the love

We’re finally here for the third Grand Slam of the year, so our panelists here at Last Word On Tennis are here to tell you what will happen in the biggest matches each day. We have six matches for you on Day 1. Our panelists today are myself (Yesh Ginsburg), along with writers Jakub Bobro and Vithun Illankovan.

Ana Konjuh vs Sabine Lisicki

Jakub:
Sabine Lisicki is a former Wimbledon finalist, and is coming back off a seven-month injury break. The German reached the quarterfinals in Mallorca; Bertens retired from her first round match, then bested Rogers before losing to Goerges. Konjuh also made quarterfinals there, beating Azarenka 6-1 6-3. It is their first meeting, and I believe in the younger player here. Konjuh is a two time Junior slam champion.
Prediction: Konjuh in 3

Vithun:
I’m slightly disappointed with Konjuh this year, as I was expecting much more after her run to the quarterfinals at the US Open last year. Lisicki has a superb record at Wimbledon and usually when there’s a big early round clash on the women’s tour, the lower-ranked player wins.
Prediction: Lisicki in 3

Yesh:
I think that it’s pretty impossible to predict Lisicki at this point. We just haven’t seen enough from her in too long. Still, she is built to win on grass and I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.
Prediction: Lisicki in 3

Carla Suarez-Navarro vs Eugenie Bouchard

Jakub:
The impulse when one looks at this match up is to expect a Bouchard win. The Canadian is a former Wimbledon finalist and Suarez Navarro is a clay court Spaniard. However if you look more closely at these two, you may be surprised. Suarez Navarro went 1-2 on grass, but beat Makarova 6-3 6-1 and took a set off Jelena Ostapenko. Bouchard took losses to Schiavone and Strycova. I would be surprised if Suarez-Navarro dropped a set.
Prediction: Suarez-Navarro in 2

Vithun:
Suarez-Navarro has had an injury-troubled year and sits at No. 42 in the Race to Singapore. Even though Bouchard hasn’t been in good form since 2014, she has always played slightly better in the Grand Slams. I predict Bouchard to pull the upset and the WTA and pundits alike to make numerous “Bouchard is back!” comments.
Prediction: Bouchard in 3

Yesh:
Aside from her one match against Maria Sharapova this year, Bouchard just hasn’t found any sort of rhythm or consistency in years. The talent is there; the belief doesn’t seem to be.
Prediction: Suarez-Navarro in 2

Johanna Konta vs Su-Wei Hsieh
Jakub:
It is a re-match from the Roland Garros first round, and Konta is here for revenge. To be fair she did withdraw from Eastbourne, but hopefully it’s just a precautionary measure. Hsieh has earned some solid wins on grass, such as Cirstea, Flipkens, or Kucova, but Konta will be driven by the British crowd right through Hsieh.
Prediction: Konta in 2

Vithun:
Konta’s withdrawal from Eastbourne seemed more precautionary and this isn’t the first time Konta has made a dramatic scene. Whilst I don’t think she has any chance of winning Wimbledon, this is definitely a very manageable 1st round opponent and a chance to get revenge against the player who caused her premature French Open exit this year.
Prediction: Konta in 2

Yesh:
If Konta is healthy, she should be able to win this match without too much trouble. She’s the much better player on grass. That’s if Konta is healthy, which is no guarantee.
Prediction: Konta in 2

Ashleigh Barty vs Elina Svitolina

Jakub:
Svitolina is the No. 4 seed, but don’t let yourself be fooled. Grass is the Ukranian’s worst surface, never reaching past 2nd Round at Wimbledon. Her style just doesn’t fit the quick low bouncing grass. She has gone 1-1 this year, beating Watson and losing to Giorgi. Barty has been absolutely great reaching the final at Birmingham, getting wins over Strycova, Giorgi, and Muguruza. She only lost to Kvitova and Konta.
Barty in 3

Vithun:
Svitolina has been struggling with a foot injury and has a negative win-loss record at Wimbledon and on grass in general. Barty is a player in great form and is my pick to be this Grand Slam’s unseeded semi-finalist. A weak performance by Svitolina in this match will show she does not have that special quality required to be a Grand Slam champion in the future.
Prediction: Barty in 2

Yesh:
This is a trendy upset pick due to Svitolina’s grass struggles and Barty’s talent. It should be a great match, but I don’t see the upset. Svitolina has been on another level this year from her previous ones. There’s no reason for that to stop at Wimbledon.

Dominica Cibulkova vs Andrea Petkovic
Jakub:
Both players are struggling in 2017. Since her Singapore win, Cibulkova hasn’t won three matches in a row. She is defending a quarterfinal, but went 0-3 on grass. Petkovic has had an alright grass season if you factor in the fact that it is her worst surface. Beating Kiki Bertens was definitely the peak. Petkovic lead the head-to-head 4-1, no matches on grass. I think that Cibulkova will win, but the match will go past 6-6 in the final set.
Prediction: Cibulkova in 3

Vithun:
If you want an easy Top 10 win to make your career seem more impressive, you should be hoping you play Cibulkova at present. The Slovakian has been in dire form lately, but I think her fighting spirit could still get her through against someone who has sadly just become a mediocre Top 100 player.
Prediction: Cibulkova in 3

Yesh:
This is a tough match to pick between two very talented players going through rough patches. In the end, I have to rely on the German’s superior record in this matchup.
Prediction: Petkovic in 3

Victoria Azarenka vs Cici Bellis
Jakub:
Azarenka, the former World No. 1 and two-time Slam champion, made a comeback in Mallorca, reaching the 2nd Round. Bellis played her first WTA tournament on grass in Mallorca, making it tothe semis. Azarenka is far more experienced, but Bellis will push for three.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3

Vithun:
Bellis is a fast improving player but is still very beatable. Now that Azarenka has had some match practice in Mallorca, I believe it will take someone with more significant pedigree to topple her at Wimbledon.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2

Yesh:
This was a poor draw for Azarenka. She still doesn’t have enough match play under her belt to be competitive here, and it showed in Mallorca. She needed to draw an easy first match. She didn’t get it.
Prediction: Bellis in 2

Main Photo: