Australian Open Day 1 Women’s Predictions Including Simona Halep vs Lizette Cabrera

Katie Boulter in action ahead of the Australian Open
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There looks set to be plenty of entertaining tennis on day one at the Australian Open, with 29 first-round matches on the slate. As ever, we at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Kirsten Flipkens vs Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Aryna Sabalenka vs Viktoria Kuzmova, Bianca Andreescu vs Mihaela Buzarnescu, Laura Siegemund vs Serena Williams and Greet Minnen vs Petra Kvitova. But who will reach the second round?

Australian Open Day One Predictions

Yaroslava Shvedova vs Camila Giorgi

Jim: Camila Giorgi made a solid start to her campaign at the Yarra Valley Classic, beating Clara Burel 6-3 6-4, but then retired after losing the first set to Sofia Kenin in the second round. However, assuming that she has recovered from whatever injury problems she was having, she should have the beating of the veteran Yaroslava Shvedova.

Prediction: Giorgi in 3

Damian: One hopes for the best for Shvedova in her comeback but she doesn’t look ready for the biggest stages yet. Camila Giorgi can be extremely erratic but the conditions should suit her quite well and her power should be too much for Shvedova to take.

Prediction: Giorgi in 2

Yesh: Giorgi has always had the potential to be the top player in the world, but things have always gotten in the way. She can beat Shvedova if she finds her level and consistent, but the Kazakh is solid enough to let Giorgi beat herself here.

Prediction: Shvedova in 3
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Mayo Hibi vs Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova

Jim: Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova may have fallen short in the final round of qualifying, before earning her place in the main draw at the Australian Open as a lucky loser, but she has made a generally impressive start to the season nonetheless, continuing her strong finish to 2021. Expect that to continue at the expense of Mayo Hibi.

Prediction: Schmiedlova in 3

Damian: Schmiedlova might have been the one of these two who lost in the qualifiers, but she has so much more experience at Grand Slam level. Hibi could have some sort of stage fright and the Slovakian’s fantastic backhand should allow her to clean up.

Prediction: Schmiedlova in 2

Yesh: Hibi likes hard courts and can stick with most players from the baseline, but Schmiedlova should be good enough to eventually turn the points in her favor.

Prediction: Schmiedlova in 3
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Simona Halep vs Lizette Cabrera

Jim: There are some concerns around Simona Halep’s fitness after the Romanian withdrew ahead of her doubles quarterfinal in the Gippsland Trophy, having lost 1-6 2-6 at the same stage in the singles to Ekaterina Alexandrova. But the world #2 has stated that she should be ready for the start of the Australian Open and, in truth, even if she is not 100% fit, she should still be able to negotiate the challenge posed by wildcard Lizette Cabrera.

Prediction: Halep in 2

Damian: There is not much to say here ahead of what should be a rather clean and convincing victory for the two-time Grand Slam champion. There is nothing in Cabrera’s recent history (or in her loss to Varvara Gracheva last week) to suggest that she is ready to take out Halep.

Prediction: Halep in 2

Yesh: Halep is going to enter this match on a mission, looking to make a statement that she’s the player to beat in Melbourne. Expect a beatdown here.

Prediction: Halep in 2

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Katie Boulter vs Daria Kasatkina

Jim: Katie Boulter has been playing well enough lately to suggest that it will not be long before her ranking starts heading back in the right direction, with the Briton having begun 2021 ranked 365th in the world. But Daria Kasatkina, slowly but surely, looks to be getting back to something approaching her best and should have just about enough craft and guile to edge out the 24-year-old Boulter.

Prediction: Kasatkina in 3

Damian: Boulter is coming back after an injury lay-off, but showcased a lot of her talent last week. With Kasatkina not exactly in her 2018 form, this is clearly an upset alert. The Briton is very talented and, hopefully, her issues are long gone and she can start realizing her potential.

Prediction: Boulter in 3

Yesh: Boulter is always a great story and the Brits love her, but Kasatkina is finally finding her form again, and has too much talent to let this match slip away.

Prediction: Kasatkina in 2

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