The women’s tour saw a pretty successful restart last week in Palermo. The WTA Lexington Open will be the first event played in the United States after a five-month break. It will be exciting to check on everyone’s form and maybe establish some early contender picks for the upcoming US Open. Who will prevail on the first day of main draw play in Lexington? We also have predictions for other Monday matches.
Kristie Ahn – Jovana Jovic
Head-to-head: Jovic 2-1
This is a final round of qualifying match. Kristie Ahn is the top seed in the draw, yet had a real tough time Gabriela Talaba (was down 2-4 in the deciding set). Jovana Jovic leads the head-to-head over her opponent but her last win came back four years ago. Ahn had a brilliant summer on American hard courts last year and although her yesterday’s performance was shaky at best, it will only get better from now on. Expect the favorite to find a way to step up her game.
Prediction: Ahn in 3
Vera Zvonareva – Jessica Pegula
Head-to-head: Pegula 1-0
The veteran came back yet another time this season, pulling off some solid wins in February and March (Hsieh, Siegemund, Stosur, Siniakova). However, we know nothing about Zvonareva’s form coming into this event. Pegula, meanwhile, was one of the most active female players during the pandemic, playing 15 matches in the past two months. The American has very recently picked up great wins over players like Sloane Stephens, Sofia Kenin, or Venus Williams. Crowd support will not be available to push her through but based on her recent results, she is much more of a sure thing than Zvonareva.
Prediction: Pegula in 2
Ons Jabeur – Caty McNally
Head-to-head: First meeting
The 25-year old Tunisian was playing the best tennis of her life just before the pandemic, highlighted by her run to the Australian Open quarterfinals. Jabeur is one of the most McNally has played quite a fair share of exhibition tennis recently, albeit with mixed results. More match rhythm can be quite an advantage after such a long break but the Tunisian’s extraordinary variety should prove to be an even bigger one.
Prediction: Jabeur in 3
Madison Brengle – Aryna Sabalenka
Head-to-head: Sabalenka 1-0
The Belarusian was once again one of the better players on the tour in the early stages of the season, culminating with a title run in Doha. While Brengle picked up four exhibition wins during the five-month break, it is unlikely that she’ll be able to give Sabalenka a challenge. While the world no. 11’s game can be a bit of a hit or miss sometimes, Brengle just doesn’t possess any kind of reliable answer to the Belarusian’s extreme power.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2