The WTA Madrid tournament on clay, one of the highlights of the 2021 WTA Tour season begins with Day 1 action featuring the likes of Ash Barty, Ons Jabeur and Belinda Bencic.
We preview and predict four matches in this article. We also have the rest of the day’s matches split between three other articles. One features Alison Riske vs Iga Swiatek, the second highlights Garbine Muguruza vs Sloane Stephens, and the third features Kiki Bertens vs Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva.
WTA Madrid Day 1 Predictions
Yaroslava Shvedova vs Ons Jabeur
Shvedova, a former top 30 player, is taking part in her first season on the WTA Tour since 2017, coming back after childbirth and surgery. 2021 has not started well for Shvedova, who is 0-7 and playing under a protected ranking. Jabeur by contrast is having one of the best seasons of her career, 18-9 on the season and after a great two weeks in Charleston, is looking to make an impact on European clay. Jabeur should advance with ease. Jabeur in 2
Yulia Putintseva vs Jo Konta
Konta leads the h2h 3-1 but is struggling with only two wins this season, Putintseva is 10-8, presuming fitness, Putintseva has to be the form pick here, Konta is capable but she’s shown very little of her top caliber tennis this season and there’s not yet signs of a recovery in her game. Putintseva in 2
Ash Barty vs Shelby Rogers
Barty is 4-0 against Rogers with three of those wins coming this season including a three set in Charleston. Rogers is 14-8 with a number of quarterfinals this season, but Barty is at a level above, 21-4 with wins in Stuttgart last week on clay, and Miami. Rogers would beat many opponents right now, Barty is not one of them. Barty in 2
Kristina Mladenovic vs Belinda Bencic
A finalist in Adelaide, Bencic has matched her 2020 win total of 8, Mladenovic is playing well through the qualifying stages and has every chance to win this match. Clay has not been Bencic’s best surface and Mladenovic’s form looks a bit better. I will go with an upset here. Mladenovic in 3