The French Open begins on Sunday, which means the first round is split up over three days. We might not get 32 singles matches on Day 1 (we still get that at Wimbledon, though), but there will be plenty of tennis to kick off the action. We at LWOT are here to predict as many of the matches as we can for you. Not only are we predicting the matches in this article, but we also have two more sets of predictions coming! (One set features Venus Williams vs Elina Svitolina, and the other headlines Sloane Stephens vs Misaki Doi.) Predicting this set of matches today are myself (Yesh Ginsburg), Jim Smith, and Tracey Essex.
French Open Day 1 Women’s Predictions
Angelique Kerber vs Anastasia Potapova
Angelique Kerber hasn’t always found the French Open, the one Major missing from her trophy cabinet, the happiest hunting ground, although she did reach the quarterfinals last season. Her clay-court season has also been interrupted by injury, with the German absent from the Italian Open. As a result, her Roland Garros title chances will surely be slim. But she is an excellent competitor and should have enough for the teenager Anastasia Potapova, making her debut in the main draw in Paris.
Prediction: Kerber in 3
Anastasia Potapova has had far too many early exits throughout 2019 to be considered any threat to World #5 Angelique Kerber. Even though Kerber has turned in some mixed performances, the German has every weapon, albeit inconsistenly, at her disposal.
Prediction: Kerber in 2
Potapova can be a fun player to watch, and will be one to watch in the future. She might even be able to win a few matches given the right draw. She wasn’t given the right draw, though, so expect Kerber to roll.
Prediction: Kerber in 2
Yafan Wang vs Marketa Vondrousova
Both Wang and Vondrousova arrive into the French Open after excellent seasons. Vondrousova was particularly impressive at the Italian Open, beating Simona Halep and Daria Kasatkina en route to the quarterfinals. Wang, in contrast, scored some impressive wins earlier in the season, claiming the title in Acapulco, but hasn’t won a match on clay yet this season. Against the in-form Vondrousova, that doesn’t seem likely to change.
Prediction: Vondrousova in 2
If this were a hard court match, I’d give the edge to Wang. But on clay, it’s Marketa Vondrousova who will easily take this match. In fact, I expect Vondrousova to make a deep run at Roland Garros. She’s a future World #1 in my opinion.
Prediction Vondrousova in 2
Vondrousova is very quietly becoming one of the up-and-coming players on tour. She has huge talent, though doesn’t quite have any big results to show for it. Wang is a tough opponent that can frustrate any player. Expect this to be a very tight, good match that’s a lot of fun for fans.
Prediction: Vondrousova in 3
Magdalena Rybarikova vs Johanna Larsson
Neither Magdalena Rybarikova nor Johanna Larsson find themselves in great form at the French Open. Rybarikova hasn’t managed to win a match so far on the clay this season, having only played in Morocco and Madrid due to struggles with injury. Larsson hasn’t found much more success, but did win a round in Nuremberg last week. That may not have set her up for a deep run in Paris, but it should be enough to help her past Rybarikova.
Prediction: Larsson in 3
It’s an ideal draw for both Rybarikova and Larsson to start their campaign against each other. Here you have two 30-year-olds, neither enjoying a great year, but this opening match gives each of them the belief they can win. Rybarikova is having a much better year, and has more confidence after her semifinal run in Monterrey.
Prediction: Rybarikova in 2
Larsson has looked poor on clay this season, but Rybarikova has looked much worse. Expect this to be a battle of attrition, and whoever can make the fewer mistakes will win.
Prediction: Larsson in 2
Garbine Muguruza vs Taylor Townsend
Former champion Garbine Muguruza may not be amongst the title favourites heading into Paris this year, but she remains a formidable clay-courter on her day. Townsend, meanwhile, hasn’t seen much action at tour-level so far this season and this will mark a serious step up in quality for the 23-year-old American. She is unquestionably a good competitor, but against a player of Muguruza’s quality, that does not seem likely to be enough.
Prediction: Muguruza in 2
The jury is still out on Garbine Muguruza and whether she can find her championship forms. The Spaniard is as capable of holding a title as she is of a first round exit. Taylor Townsend is hungry and looking to chalk up some wins. But, at a Slam, I think Muguruza pulls everything together and keeps Townsend waiting for her shot at success.
Muguruza in 3
Townsend was once touted as the next great American, following in the footsteps of the likes of Serena Williams. That hasn’t quite happened yet, but her talent is unmistakeable. Talent alone won’t be enough to get by Muguruza, though, an equally talented player with a Grand Slam pedigree.
Prediction: Muguruza in 2
Embed from Getty Images
Don’t agree with our Day 1 predictions? Have any other thoughts on the upcoming Day 1 matches? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.