Day 1 of the WTA Volvo Car Open in Charleston, South Carolina kicks off on Monday. This 64-player tournament is the biggest annual event on clay in the United States. Plenty of Americans will be searching for glory, as will the rest of the tour. There are 14 matches on Monday, and we predict all of them, between four separate articles. In addition to this article, the other three feature Caty McNally vs Elena Rybakina, Andrea Petkovic vs Yulia Putintseva, and Madison Brengle vs Lauren Davis.
WTA Charleston Day 1 Predictions
Misaki Doi vs Yaroslava Shvedova
Shvedova, of “Golden Set” fame, is seeking to mount a comeback to tennis, after a nearly-four-year hiatus due to childbirth, surgery, then having her comeback interrupted by COVID. She has not played anywhere near an elite level of tennis since returning, though this matchup on this surface gives her a chance. Doi is a solid player who does well from the baseline, but clay isn’t her forte. It’s ultimately not a strong prospect to pick Shvedova to win any match right now, but this is one of her better chances so far this year.
Prediction: Doi in 3
Timea Babos vs Marie Bouzkova
Bouzkova has been quietly impressing on tour for the past few years. Babos, meanwhile, seems to have settled in more as a doubles player than singles. The Hungarian is a consistent Top 5 doubles player now, but that has come to some detriment in her singles play. Babos might be more fun to root for, but Bouzkova should be a far safer pick, even if she has done better on hard courts than clay so far in her short career.
Prediction: Bouzkova in 2
Amanda Anisimova vs Magda Linette
Anisimova showed herself to be a rising star three years ago, though she seems to have hit a bit of a wall in her development. I won’t pretend to surmise the reason, but her rapid improvement from the ages of 16 to 17 has not continued in the two years since. She likes the clay, though, and should be a solid contender as we move to her favorite surface. Linette, meanwhile, was playing the best tennis of her career in late 2019. The Pole has never quite regained that form since returning from the pandemic hiatus, and hasn’t looked near her top level this season. Anisimova should move on.
Prediction: Anisimova in 3
Main Photo from Getty.