Australian Open Day 2 Women’s Predictions Including Garbine Muguruza vs Margarita Gasparyan

Johanna Konta in action ahead of the Australian Open
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Day two at the Australian Open promises plenty of entertainment for the fans at Melbourne Park and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate. That includes Kristina Mladenovic vs Maria Sakkari, Belinda Bencic vs Lauren Davis, Ash Barty vs Danka Kovinic, Karolina Muchova vs Jelena Ostapenko, Karolina Pliskova vs Jasmine Paolini, Victoria Azarenka vs Jessica Pegula and Sofia Kenin vs Maddison Inglis. Offering their predictions for this slate of matches are Jim Smith, Yesh Ginsburg, Damian Kust and Fraser Learmonth. But who will reach the second round?

Australian Open Day Two Predictions

Garbine Muguruza vs Margarita Gasparyan

Jim: Margarita Gasparyan looked sharp initially in the qualifying, only to fall at the final hurdle. Still her easy power from the baseline could do some damage. But Garbine Muguruza excelled in Melbourne last season and appears to have recaptured that form, having reached the final at the Yarra Valley Classic. Expect her to prove too strong by half for the Russian.

Prediction: Muguruza in 2

Yesh: Muguruza lost out to Barty in the final at the Yarra Valley Classic, but she looks to be in solid form. She might be a step behind the favorites to win, but she’s at least two steps ahead of the rest of the field.

Prediction: Muguruza in 2

Fraser: Muguruza is likely still smarting from her straight-sets loss to Barty, having served for the first set only to falter and never really recover her footing in the match after that. But in Gasparyan, she plays an opponent who has been short of her best for quite some time and is only in the Australian Open main draw as a lucky loser. The Spaniard should win this comfortably playing the sort of tennis she has played in Melbourne so far.

Prediction: Muguruza in 2

Damian: Muguruza stormed through the draw at the Yarra Valley Classic in extremely dominant fashion. While she did end up losing to Barty in the final, that form could lead to a very deep run here. Especially as Gasparyan (or pretty much anyone) doesn’t have as many ways of disrupting power players as Barty.

Prediction: Muguruza in 2
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Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Barbora Strycova

Jim: This is one of the more intriguing matches of day two at the Australian Open. Both women have a significant amount of experience behind them and will surely be targeting a deep run in Melbourne. But the quick conditions should suit the more aggressively minded Barbora Strycova more than they do Svetlana Kuznetsova’s patient baseline game.

Prediction: Strycova in 3

Yesh: Kuznetsova is the ageless wonder, and she’ll have her say in any match. She’s nowhere near her best self right now, though, but her powerful game could present problems for Strycova.

Prediction: Kuznetsova in 3

Fraser: Two veterans of the tour desperately short of form will be hoping to secure their first win of the year in this matchup. But Kuznetsova has at least shown flashes of her best tennis since her return to action. Strycova, on the other hand, seems to be in a rapid downward spiral and may retire this year after considering it last year. The Russian will likely want this more and has the better game.

Prediction: Kuznetsova in 2

Damian: This is a battle of the veterans, with this pair having history dating back to 2008. 13 years later they’re still on the tour, although neither has been playing much recently. Kuznetsova won just three games against Jennifer Brady at the Grampians Trophy and barely played throughout 2020. One year older than her opponent, it seems like her decline is progressing at a faster pace.

Prediction: Strycova in 3

Zheng Saisai vs Barbora Krejcikova

Jim: Barbora Krejcikova comes into the Australian Open in solid form, having reached the quarterfinals at the Grampians Trophy, upsetting fourth seed Elena Rybakina in the second round. Zheng Saisai, in contrast, has been playing indifferent tennis so far in 2021.

Prediction: Krejcikova in 3

Yesh: Krejcikova is playing more in bigger tournaments now, but she’s still trying to rise her way through the ranks towards the top of the game. Zheng, meanwhile, is a solid strong player.

Prediction: Zheng in 2

Fraser: Krejcikova has impressed so far in 2021. The Czech is fairing better on hard courts than many expected and also has the advantage of coming up against a player short of form in Zheng. This match will likely feature great variety in the shots played as both are tricky customers who like to change things up to throw their opponents off. Krejcikova has been playing the better tennis of late, but Zheng is the more accomplished player.

Prediction: Saisai in 3

Damian: Always recognized as a top-notch doubles specialist, Krejcikova is finally using that pedigree to succeed in singles as well. She had a good quarterfinal run at the Grampians Trophy and should be able to prevail against a rusty opponent. In fact, Zheng’s loss to Begu last week was her first match since March.

Prediction: Krejcikova in 3
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Kaja Juvan vs Johanna Konta

Jim: Johanna Konta will have been disappointed to have exited the Gippsland Trophy in the third round, but it likely won’t have disrupted the Briton’s Australian Open preparations too badly. Her game should be well-suited to the conditions at Melbourne Park and whilst a title run is almost certainly beyond her, she should be able to get the better of Kaja Juvan without too many problems.

Prediction: Konta in 2

Yesh: Konta’s potential is always there, and she’s going to be a contender for Major titles. The Brit does have the potential to drop matches with inconsistent play, but she’s the safer pick for sure.

Prediction: Konta in 2

Fraser: Konta will surely be disappointed with her performance in the warmup tournament and will be hoping to give a better account of herself this week. Unfortunately she is up against one of the rising stars in the women’s game in Juvan. Juvan looks set for a breakout year this year and showed what she is capable of by taking a set of Swiatek last week. If she can hold that level consistently she may upset the Brit here. Still Konta should win, but this will be tight.

Prediction: Konta in 3

Damian: Juvan is a very dangerous young prospect and she made that clear both in qualifying and last week, defeating Wang Qiang and taking a set off Iga Swiatek. Konta, meanwhile, is often vulnerable to early upsets and this is likely to be a nightmare of an opening round for her.

Prediction: Juvan in 3

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