WTA Monterrey Open Day 1 Predictions Including Venus Williams vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Sloane Stephens at the Monterrey Open
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With the all-important Sunshine Double looming large on the horizon, the field at the WTA’s Monterrey Open will surely be desperate to gather some momentum ahead of Indian Wells. On day one, there should be no shortage of entertaining action, with a number of star names set to take to the court. But who will come out on top?

Monterrey Open Day One Predictions

Wang Yafan vs Lara Arruabarrena

Head-to-head: first meeting

Wang Yafan has made a miserable start to the season, posting a 1-5 record to start the year. In fact, the Chinese has lost her last five matches, with her title defence in Acapulco ending in a straight-sets defeat at the hands of her compatriot Wang Xiyu in the first round. As a result, she arrives at the Monterrey Open desperately in need of some wins. But she may find one hard to come by against the Spanish qualifier Lara Arruabarrena in the first meeting between the pair.

Arruabarrena played well in the qualifying, beating the higher-ranked Madison Inglis and Caroline Dolehide without dropping a set. And with her defensive, counter-punching style, she will likely give little away in the baseline exchanges. With Wang feeling the pressure of not having won a match since the first week of the season in Shenzhen, she may well struggle to impose herself against Arruabarrena. Expect the Spaniard to advance.

Prediction: Arruabarrena in 3
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Olga Govortsova vs Caroline Dolehide

Head-to-head: Dolehide 2-0 Govortsova

Olga Govortsova arrives at the Monterrey Open in the midst of a solid run of form. In her last outing, she won an ITF $100k event in Nicholasville and she has already beaten Marcela Zacarias and Kristina Kucova in the qualifying in Monterrey, both in fairly comprehensive fashion. But she could be in for a tough test up against the USA’s Dolehide. The American reached the main draw as a lucky loser, having beaten Ana Sofia Sanchez in three sets in the first round of qualifying before losing to Arruabarrena.

Although that defeat may have knocked her confidence, she has won both her previous meetings with Govortsova, including earlier this season at the Australian Open in the second round of qualifying. Thus, whilst Govortsova may be in the better form, this appears to be a match up she does not enjoy. And it is not altogether hard to see why. Dolehide has firepower in her game that the Belarusian simply cannot match. Expect a closer contest than in their previous meetings, but the same end result.

Prediction: Dolehide in 3
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Venus Williams vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 

Head-to-head: Williams 1-1 Schmiedlova

Venus Williams may be one of the greatest champions in the history of the women’s game, but she has been struggling badly of late. She has lost her last four matches, including both that she has played so far in 2020. That is despite having held seven match points in a three-set defeat to Kaja Juvan in the first round last week at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, in contrast, should be full of confidence having qualified at the Monterrey Open without dropping a set.

The Slovakian picked up fine wins over Lizette Cabrera and Varvara Flink to secure her place in the main draw. She also beat Williams in their most recent meeting, albeit on clay, with the American winning their only match-up on a hard court, although both matches were played in 2014. Much has changed since, particularly for Williams. At her best, she would almost certainly win this match, but she is no longer the player she once was. Expect Schmiedlova’s consistency from the baseline to prove decisive.

Prediction: Schmiedlova in 3
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Sloane Stephens vs Emma Navarro

Head-to-head: first meeting

Sloane Stephens is another player who arrives at the Monterrey Open in dire need of a win, having lost her last five matches. That run of defeats stretches back to last season’s China Open, with Stephens having looked lethargic and lacking in application in her four defeats so far this season. And unless she can start winning matches, and soon, she faces the real possibility of being unseeded at the French Open, where she reached the final in 2018 (lost to Simona Halep).

But her first-round clash with Emma Navarro in Monterrey could present the perfect chance for Stephens to get back to winning ways. The 18-year-old Navarro is playing in Monterrey as a wild card, with this her first match of the season on the WTA Tour. But even at ITF-level, her results have been mixed, with Navarro owning a 1-3 record for the year so far. And whilst Stephens may be out of form, this is still a real step up in class for the Mexican. Expect Stephens’ athleticism and consistency to give her a decisive edge.

Prediction: Stephens in 2

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