The second edition of the WTA Abierto Zapopan tournament kicks off on March 8, 2021 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Thirty-two players will compete for their share of this WTA 250 prize money. Top seed Nadia Podoroska will be on the hunt for her first title. Canada’s rising star Leylah Fernandez and a resurgent Eugenie Bouchard stand ready to thwart Podoroska’s title attempt. We also predict Monday’s other four matches.
We’ll be predicting all eight opening day matches at the WTA Abierto Zapopan 2021.
WTA Abierto Zapopan Day 1 Predictions
Lauren Davis vs Anna-Lena Friedsam
Head to head: First meeting
Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam will square off against American Lauren Davis to start her Abierto Zapopan campaign. Friedsam has had a mediocre start to 2021, with her best result reaching the quarterfinal in an ITF tournament. Perhaps her dual coaching with Sasha Mueller and Robert Orlik will help the veteran craft a winning strategy in Guadalajara. It’s been a year since the 27-year-old made a solid impact in a WTA main draw tournament. In March 2020, Friedsam reached the final at Lyon. This is a good opener for the German and one she should get through without too much challenge.
Prediction: Friedsam in 2
Elisabetta Cocciaretto vs Wang Xiyu
Head to head: Cocciaretto 1-0 Wang
The rising Italian, Elisabetta Cocciaretto, battled through qualifying rounds to earn her main draw spot. Cocciaretto had eight double faults in her first qualifying match against Mayo Hibi. Despite some serving glitches, the Italian fought through for a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win. Cocciaretto cleaned up her service, winning 63% of her first balls in play, to exit American Vavara Lepchenko. Wang Xiyu will be a tougher challenge.
China’s Wang Xiyu plays with clinically precise groundstrokes. Yet, she may find difficulty adapting to Cocciaretto. Consistency may give way to raw talent and creativity. I think we’re in for another three setter, with little separating these two in the rankings. I give the edge to Cocciaretto who’s spent more time on the court and will build on the momentum earned during the qualifying rounds.
Prediction: Cocciaretto in 2
Renata Zarazua vs Katarzyna Kawa
Head to head: Zarazua 0-1 Kawa
Katarzyna Kawa has won the only meeting with Mexico’s Renata Zarazua. Yet, playing in her country will undoubtedly bring out Zarazua’s best. Add to that, Kawa’s win came on the clay courts, a surface best suited to the Pole’s game. I think it’s going to be Zarazua’s day to shine.
Prediction: Zarazua in 3
Varvara Gracheva vs Danka Kovinic
Head to head: Gracheva 1-0 Kovinic
Unfortunately, it’s been a dismal start to 2021 for Danka Kovinic. The Montenegrin has won but a single match. Granted, the sixth seed has had some mighty tough opening matches: Carolina Muchova in Abu Dhabi, Ashleigh Barty at the Australian Open and Maria Bouzkova at the Phillip Island Trophy. But, it doesn’t look to be an easy opener against Vavara Gracheva in Guadalajara.
Gracheva hasn’t had a great start to 2021 either. Yet, her losses were competitive pushing it to a decider in four matches. Add to that a couple of solid wins against higher ranked opponents–Anna Blinkova at the Australian Open and Sloane Stephens at the Phillip Island Trophy. The Russian’s ability to dig in and fight for wins will make her a dangerous opponent for Kovinic. Expect this one to go the distance. I think we’ll see the first upset when the young Russian finds a way past the sixth seeded Kovinic.
Prediction: Gracheva in 3
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