WTA Qatar Open Day 1 Predictions Including Amanda Anisimova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Qatar Open

Day one at the WTA Qatar Open should see plenty of exciting action, with 11 intriguing matches on the slate. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for as much of the tennis as possible. But who will book their place in the second round in Doha? We also have predictions for a second set of Doha matches.

Qatar Open Day One Predictions

Elise Mertens vs Wang Qiang

Head-to-head: Wang 3-2 Mertens

This could be some opening-round clash and it’s a testament to how strong the field is at the Qatar Open. Wang Qiang enjoyed a great start to the season at the Australian Open, stunning Serena Williams in the third round, but her form has rather tailed off since. She will surely have been disappointed to have lost to the unheralded Leonie Kung in the quarterfinals in Hua Hin. Wang followed that by losing 0-6 3-6 to none other than Elise Mertens in Dubai in her last outing.

That heavy defeat may well leave her short of confidence heading into this match, particularly as she also lost to Mertens at Wimbledon last season. The Belgian has, however, struggled for the sort of consistency that would enable her to break into the top ten, which is surely a major goal for the 24-year-old. But her victory over Wang in Dubai was so comprehensive that it is hard to see a different result just a week later, although the score may well be closer.

Prediction: Mertens in 2
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Karolina Muchova vs Magda Linette

Head-to-head: Muchova 1-1 Linette

Magda Linette struggled to get going in the early weeks of 2020. However, she found a rich vein of form in Hua Hin, where she won the title at a canter, beating first-time finalist Kung 6-3 6-2 in the title match. However, she faces a stern first-round test in Qatar up against Karolina Muchova. That said, the Czech, who enjoyed a breakout 2019, highlighted by a run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, has made an indifferent start to 2020 and has just one victory to her name so far this year.

When she is at her best, her accuracy from the back of the court, particularly off the forehand side, and her skill in the forecourt make her a formidable opponent. But she has been struggling to play on the front foot effectively this season, which does not bode well for her chances up against the in-form Linette. The Pole makes few mistakes from the baseline and is quick enough around the court to track down a lot of balls. Expect her to grind Muchova down.

Prediction: Linette in 3
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Kristina Mladenovic vs Veronika Kudermetova

Head-to-head: first meeting

After a difficult start to the season, Kristina Mladenovic found some form at the Dubai Tennis Championships, reaching the round of 16 after coming through the qualifying. She will surely be hoping that she can maintain that upturn in form at the Qatar Open. But Veronika Kudermetova has been playing some fine tennis in her own right and also made the last 16 in Dubai as a qualifier. She seems to have that much more conviction in her shots at the moment than the occasionally listless Frenchwoman. Expect that to prove the difference in what promises to be a close contest in Doha.

Prediction: Kudermetova in 3
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Amanda Anisimova vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Amanda Anisimova clearly has an exceptionally bright future in the sport, even if she has been slightly overshadowed by the emergence of the even younger Coco Gauff and Sofia Kenin, two years her senior, who won the Australian Open in January. It should not be overlooked that Anisimova is already a Grand Slam semifinalist, despite being just 18-years-old. However, after a promising start to the season at the ASB Classic was brought to a crashing halt by Serena Williams in the last four, she has rather lost her way.

Indeed, she has not won a match since, losing in the first round at Melbourne Park and in Dubai. And she faces a tough first-round test at the Qatar Open in the shape of the in-form Ekaterina Alexandrova. The Russian won the title at the Shenzhen Open, before reaching the third round in Melbourne and the last four in St Petersburg. Her raking groundstrokes have been causing serious problems for opponents and this does not look like a good match up for the American, who is clearly short of belief at the moment.

Prediction: Alexandrova in 3

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