WTA Monterrey Open Day 1 Predictions Including Timea Babos vs. Ivana Jorovic

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After the Sunshine Double, most players on the WTA Tour are looking forward to the start of the clay-court swing. However, those in the Monterrey draw are trying to soak in a little more hard-court action before making their transition to the red dirt. Defending champion Garbine Muguruza and finalist Timea Babos are both in the draw, as is world #5 Angelique Kerber. But who will progress on day one in Mexico?

Olga Danilovic vs Kirsten Flipkens

Head-to-head: first meeting

The first main draw match of the day should be a good one. Teenage sensation Olga Danilovic, only 18-years-old, takes on the crafty veteran Kirsten Flipkens in their first meeting. Danilovic burst onto the scene last year when she won the Moscow River Cup, where she proved her heavy lefty forehand would be a force to be reckoned with on tour in the years to come. Flipkens, meanwhile, a former Wimbledon semifinalist, has been on tour for a very long time and uses her excellent backhand slice and superb volleying to keep opponents off-balance and uncomfortable.

Both players are not in the best form. Danilovic has only won three matches all year, while Flipkens has just one more victory to her name so far in 2019. Both of these players lost in the first round in Miami after having won the first set, with Danilovic losing to Maria Sakkari and Flipkens falling to Yulia Putintseva. This should be a tight match, but Flipken’s variety should give her just enough to overcome Danilovic’s challenge and pick up a fifth win of the year.

Prediction: Flipkens in three
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Magdalena Rybarikova vs Misaki Doi

Head-to-head: first meeting

An early main draw match features another crafty, former Wimbledon semifinalist taking on a lefty as Magdalena Rybarikova battles Misaki Doi. The two players have never played one another and both players have fallen quite a bit from their peak rankings. Rybarikova was once ranked as high as 17th in the world, but currently sits at 74th in the rankings. Doi, meanwhile, has cracked the top 30 but now finds herself outside the world’s top 100 at #112.

Rybarikova has had a very tough season, winning only one match so far, a tight first-round win over Russian young gun Natalia Vikhlyantseva at the Miami Open. Doi, on the other hand, has some momentum coming into Monterrey, with 10 victories under her belt for the 2019 season. And while only a couple of those matches have been main draw matches, there’s something to be said for winning a lot versus barely winning at all. Expect Doi to pull off the upset.

Prediction: Doi in three
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Victoria Rodriguez vs Margarita Gasparyan

Head-to-head: first meeting

Wildcard Victoria Rodriguez will battle Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan for a place in the second round at the Monterrey Open. Gasparyan, who is still on the comeback trail from an injury she suffered a while ago, has been as high as world #41 and has two WTA singles titles to her name. Rodriguez’s career=high ranking, on the other hand, is 216th in the world and she will certainly be the underdog in this match.

Gasparyan has a beautiful one-handed backhand which really cuts through the court when she hits it flat, but has only played three tournaments so far in 2019, picking up four wins. Only one was a main draw win, which came at the Australian Open. Rodriguez, on the other hand, only has one win above $25k level, and that was a win in qualifying over Danielle Lao in Acapulco. The talent difference between these two players looks to be substantial and expect this to be a very straightforward outing for Gasparyan as a result.

Prediction: Gasparyan in two
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Timea Babos vs Ivana Jorovic

Head-to-head: first meeting

2018 runner-up, Timea Babos, is set to take on Ivana Jorovic, who recently broke into the top 100 for the first time, in the final match of day one of the Monterrey Open. Babos has three WTA singles titles and a career-high ranking of #25, but currently sits at 106th in the world rankings. Thus the 21-year-old Jorovic, ranked 100th in the world, is the higher-ranked player, although by some distance the less experienced.

Babos has had a difficult start to the year and has claimed just three wins so far this season. Back-to-back victories have so far eluded her. That stands in marked contrast to Jorovic, who has eight victories so far this year above $25k level, although just two in WTA main draw singles matches. In the last $25k tournament that Jorovic entered, an ITF event in Japan, she won the title. This looks to be a classic case of previous success at a tournament versus current form then. Given that Babos has the higher ceiling of the two and played very well on these courts last year, expect the Hungarian to eke out a very close, and much needed, victory.

Prediction: Babos in three

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