The second installment of the Guadalajara Open will conclude opening round matches Tuesday, and the field of 32 will be culled to 16. It took Anna Karolina Schmiedlova only an hour and 20 minutes send the fifth seed, Nio Hibino, packing with a 6-1, 7-5 loss. Coco Vandeweghe’s comeback was cut short thanks to Mihaela Buzarnescu. Here’s a look at all eight of the Day 2 matches in Guadalajara
WTA Abierto Zapopan Day 2 Predictions
Anna Blinkova vs Tamara Zidansek
Head to head: Blinkova 1-0 Zidansek
Anna Blinkova is the third seed at the Abierto Zapopan. Yet, that didn’t give her the easiest of openers. The World #70 will skirmish against Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek, an anything but straightforward start to her Guadalajara campaign. While Blinkova is the higher ranked of the two, she has far fewer wins than her opponent.
Zidansek holds 13 ITF trophies, compared to Blinkova’s 3 ITF wins. Both are on the hunt for their first WTA title. It’s clear that Zidansek can find the way to win. Expect Zidansek to provide Blinkova with a stern test in what is almost certain to be a three-set bout. Yet, Blinkova should be able to battle through this one. If the third seed makes it through, she will face another challenge, as she’ll most likely meet Caty McNally in the second round.
Prediction: Blinkova in 3
Eugenie Bouchard vs Caroline Dolehide
Head to head: Bouchard 1-0 Dolehide
I won’t make a prediction based on the head to head. Eugenie Bouchard’s and Caroline Dolehide’s only match was played on grass in 2018. In their second meeting, expect a close contest, but with a different result.
Dolehide reached the main draw through qualifiers, where the American defeated Olga Govortsova in three tight sets. While her greatest success has come in doubles, it has served to enhanced her singles game – easily playing from anywhere in the court and ending points on her terms. A powerful whip-action forehand and consistency will undoubtedly trouble Bouchard. However, her backhand remains her Achilles heel. If Bouchard can consistently find that weaker wing, it’ll be trouble for the American.
Bouchard recently signed an endorsement deal with New Balance, calling it a “new chapter”. Yet, her results seem to be on the same trajectory of the old chapter. Bouchard fell in qualifiers for the Australian Open; and, after receiving a Wild Card into the Lyon Open, the 27-year-old Canadian was handed a 7-6, 6-2 loss by Aliaksandra Sasnovich. It’s questionable whether Bouchard will ever reach her 2014 success. Playing in only her second main draw of 2021, Guadalajara may well see Bouchard’s second main draw loss of the year.
Prediction: Dolehide in 3
Aliona Bolsova vs Kaja Juvan
Head to head: Bolsova 1-0 Juvan
Aliona Bolsova will be playing in her third match of 2021, with a record of 1-2. No doubt, it will be another challenging outing for the Spaniard. Bolsova will begin her campaign against the eighth seed, Kaja Juvan. Expect Bolsova’s first round losses to continue.
Juvan comes to Guadalajara with a 7-3, win-loss record. Her losses came against the game’s elite – French Open Champion Iga Swiatek, Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady, and teen phenom Coco Gauff. In fact, Juvan should be considered a serious contender for this title.
Prediction: Juvan in 2
Leylah Fernandez vs Anna Kalinskaya
Head to head: First meeting (outside of exhibition)
Seeded seventh, Canada’s rising teen Leylah Fernandez will face a competitive bout against Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya. In a pandemic induced shutdown, Fernandez and Kalinskaya squared off in an exhibition. The Canadian had to dig deep to overcome a set deficit and defeat the Russian. You can expect this match to be equally enthralling.
Neither player is seeing a strong start in 2021. So, this tournament could be the catalyst to their year. Fernandez is the oddsmakers favorite to win, and I’d have to agree.
Prediction: Fernandez in 2