French Open Day 1 Women’s Predictions Including Johanna Konta vs Cori Gauff

Dayana Yastremska in action ahead of the French Open

The French Open, the third and final Major of this annus horribilis, is set to get underway and there are a number of intriguing matches on the slate on day one in Paris. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Victoria Azarenka vs Danka Kovinic, Simona Halep vs Sara Sorribes Tormo, Maddison Inglis vs Ekaterina Alexandrova and Anett Kontaveit vs Caroline Garcia. Offering their predictions for this set of matches are Jim Smith and Damian Kust.

French Open Day One Women’s Predictions

Marie Bouzkova vs Kaia Kanepi

Jim: Marie Bouzkova remains frustratingly inconsistent, but that is perhaps forgivable in a 22-year-old. She will, however, need to be focused from the outset up against the dangerous Kaia Kanepi. The Estonian may be approaching the end of her career, but she remains a formidable opponent on her day. Ultimately, however, this is a match Bouzkova should win. Expect her to do just that.

Prediction: Bouzkova in 3

Damian: The Czech is a player whose momentum was brought to a crashing halt by the pandemic. But she remains a solid and determined competitor. And, perhaps crucially, Bouzkova has played a lot of tennis since the restart, whereas Kanepi has barely played this year. The Estonian loves pulling Grand Slam runs out of nowhere, but don’t expect her to do so in Paris this year.

Prediction: Bouzkova in 3
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Johanna Konta vs Cori Gauff

Jim: There is no doubt that Cori Gauff is a superb talent with an exceedingly bright future in the game. Although clay looks to be the surface she is least comfortable on, her athleticism and accuracy off the ground make her a tricky foe to face on the ‘terre battue’. However, Johanna Konta has established herself as a force to be reckoned with on the clay over the past 18 months. This is a tough first-round draw, but the Briton should have enough power to hit through the teenager.

Prediction: Konta in 3

Damian: Many are expecting this match one of the clashes of the first round but I’m not convinced. Konta did very well at the French Open last year and has the firepower required to take out the youngster. Gauff’s forehand looks likely to be an issue for the American, as it may well leave Konta way too much space to hit big off the ground.

Prediction: Konta in 2
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Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs Anna-Lena Friedsam

Jim: Anna-Lena Friedsam has struggled badly in singles since the season resumed in August, with the German picking up just two wins in four events. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, in contrast, has posted some impressive results, reaching the third round at the US Open and the quarterfinals in Palermo and Istanbul. She also typically performs well on the big stage.

Prediction: Sasnovich in 2

Damian: Sasnovich has missed some great chances for deep runs recently, but she was playing some fine tennis on clay in Palermo before the US Open and Istanbul after it. If she can channel that form she should have enough for Friedsam, who one suspects would much rather contest this match on a faster court.

Prediction: Sasnovich in 2
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Dayana Yastremska vs Daria Gavrilova

Jim: It still seems that Dayana Yastremska is not fulfilling her potential, although she is perhaps judged too harshly due to the success of the WTA Tour’s other young stars. Three titles and a career-high ranking of world #21 would be achievements worthy of credit for any player, let alone one yet to turn 21. And with Daria Gavrilova having played just one tournament so far this season after a lengthy battle with injury, it would be quite the shock if Yastremska did not reach the round of 64.

Prediction: Yastremska in 2

Damian: It is still very early in Gavrilova’s comeback from injury. Although she played quite well on her return to action at an ITF event in Cagnes-sur-Mer, reaching the quarterfinals, expect Yastremska to overpower the Australian, with Gavrilova’s defensive game not where it needs to be yet.

Prediction: Yastremska in 2

Main photo:
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