From a WTA 500 to a WTA 250 for Charleston this week and the field is massively changed. However, it is going to be highly competitive and tough week for the players who go deep into the tournament.
But who will take one step towards the MUSC Health Women’s Open Trophy (catchy title)? Read our previews to find out. We also predict Monday’s other matches.
WTA Charleston Day 1 Predictions
Clara Tauson vs Liudmila Samsonova
Head-to-head: First meeting
These two occupy similar positions in the rankings at the moment, but whilst Samsonova has seemed to stagnate it is widely expected that the young Dane will fly past her current ranking to a position up near the top of the game. Tauson has a clay-court title to her name as well, albeit at ITF level, so she is clearly comfortable on the dirt. Samsonova’s form has been ok though so it won’t be a one-sided match. Tauson is the pick though to squeeze past in three sets.
Prediction: Tauson in 3
Alja Tomljanovic vs Renata Zarazua
Head-to-head: Zarazua 1-0 Tomljanovic
High hopes for this to be an intriguing contest. The Australian can blow hot or cold and if she is on a going day then she is highly capable of mowing over the Mexican here. However, this is unlikely to happen, Their previous meeting in 2018 was on a slow clay court and went all the way to a third set tie-break. Clay is clearly more suitable for Zarazua in this match-up and she will look to take advantage of the extended rallies to get Tomljanovic to beat herself. I think that could well happen and I take Zarazua to progress here.
Prediction: Zarazua in 3
Shelby Rogers vs Caty McNally
Head-to-meeting: First meeting
This one looks to be the match of the day. Two Americans at very different stages of their careers and Rogers is going to be a tough nut for McNally to try and crack here. The older American has won eight first round matches in a row and has a great recent record against her fellow countrywomen, winning seven of her last eight against them. McNally is no stranger to success on clay though having contested the junior Roland Garros final against Coco Gauff in 2018. Rogers may just be too strong and too powerful for McNally even on the slower surface but the younger player isn’t without a chance.
Prediction: Rogers in 2
Main Photo from Getty.