It’s being billed as “Super Tuesda,y” and with good reason. A superstar list of talent will take to the grass at the Mallorca Open. Day 2, still consisting of opening round play, will see top seed Angelique Kerber, 2018 finalist Anastasija Sevastova, teenage phenom Amanda Anisimova, and former World #1s Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka looking to punch their ticket to the second round. But, who will come through and who’ll be packing their bags? Let’s look at predictions for who’ll claim a second round spot. (In addition to this set of predictions, we also have predictions for four more Day 2 matches, featuring Maria Sharapova vs Victoria Kuzmova.)
Alize Cornet vs Sara Sorribes Tormo
Head to head: No history
Sorribes Tormo gained a main draw spot after defeating Johanna Larsson in qualifying. The young Spaniard is a capable player who makes herself vulnerable due to a weak serve. No doubt, Sorribes Tormo will be able to keep rallies long and wear down France’s Alize Cornet. And, she’ll need to take advantage of every opportunity to come to the net and end points. Cornet has a tough task ahead in besting Sorribes Tormo. In a like-minded game of wearing down the opponent, it’s likely the Spaniard will come out the winner.
Prediction: Sorribes Tormo in 3
Angelique Kerber vs Ysaline Bonaventure
Head to head: No history
Angelique Kerber should be thrilled that the Tour has moved onto the grass court season. Her first round exit from the French Open was not the clay season the German had planned. But, Kerber is a phenomenal grass court player, evidenced by winning Wimbledon last year. Seeded #1 in Mallorca, Kerber should be very tough on this surface.
Yasline Bonaventure reached the main draw through qualifiers. The Belgian turned in a solid performance, leading her to a main draw spot. Bonaventure is playing her second grass tournament, having lost in the second round at Rosmalen. While she surely has gained valuable experience, Kerber is an elite player and one which would be a long-shot for Bonaventure to conquer.
Prediction: Kerber in 2
Paula Badosa Gibert vs Alison Riske
Head to head: Badosa Gibert 0-1 Riske
Now wearing the crown of the Libema Open champion, Alison Riske has a renewed confidence. And so she should. The American suffered a first set 0-6 loss to Kiki Bertens to start the final in Den Bosch. Yet, her fighting spirit, strong net play and deft lobs led her to a 0-6 7-6 7-5 win over the World #4.
The 21-year-old Badosa Gibert has talent, though it will take some time to cull it into top tier. The Spaniard should enjoy her time on court in front of her compatriots, but expect it to be the lone opportunity in Mallorca.
Prediction: Riske in 2
Victoria Azarenka vs Caroline Garcia
Head to head: Azarenka 0-2 Garcia
Victoria Azarenka continues to build on her post-maternity form, edging closer and closer to her former World #1 form. It’s really now the serve which costs the Belarusian matches. If she can maintain a high first serve percentage, she’ll fare much better. Against Caroline Garcia, she doesn’t need to go for so much on the first serve as it’s rare the Frenchwoman will punish a weaker first serve. It’s the double faults which Azarenka will need to keep at bay.
Fresh off her Nottingham title, Caroline Garcia will be looking to continue her grass court success. But, this match will be anything but easy. Garcia will start her Mallorca Open campaign against a hard hitting opponent. And, if Azarenka can find her backhand, the Garcia error count will soar. We’ve seen Garcia play right off the baseline and take control of the court. That will be Garcia’s best strategy to keep Azarenka from gaining control.
Expect this to be a battle–really the popcorn match of the day. But, I see Azarenka coming through in three hard-fought sets.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3
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Disagree with our predictions for Day 2 of the Mallorca Open? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.