WTA Madrid Open Day 1 Predictions Including Garbine Muguruza vs Sloane Stephens

Garbine Muguruza in action at the WTA Madrid Open.

An exciting day of tennis looks to be in store for fans in the Spanish capital on day one at the WTA Madrid Open. There are 16 first-round matches on the schedule and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for all of them. But who will reach the second round?

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 Ash Barty vs Shelby Rogers, the second highlights Alison Riske vs Iga Swiatek, and the third features Kiki Bertens vs Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva.

WTA Madrid Open Day 1 Predictions

Elina Svitolina vs Jil Teichmann

Head-to-head: Svitolina 1-0 Teichmann

This looks like being a tough early test for Elina Svitolina, who has not looked particularly convincing so far in 2021. The Ukrainian’s best effort so far this season was reaching the semifinals in Miami, where Ashleigh Barty beat her comfortably. That being said, the Ukrainian is at her best on the clay and played some good tennis last week to make the last four in Stuttgart, where she was again beaten by Barty although in three sets and after a significantly more competitive match.

Jil Teichmann, meanwhile, has been out of action since retiring in the first round at the WTA Miami Open against Paula Badosa. But she had been in good form prior to that, reaching the last eight at the WTA Phillips Island Trophy before making back-to-back semifinal showings in Adelaide and Dubai. However, she is likely to be slightly short of rhythm after such a lengthy absence. Against a player of Svitolina’s quality, that could well prove to be the difference.

Prediction: Svitolina in 3
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Veronika Kudermetova vs Elena Vesnina

Head-to-head: first meeting

It will be interesting to see where Elena Vesnina’s game is at in her first singles match since a first-round loss at the French Open back in 2018. The Russian has been away from the tour on maternity leave since. Having made her return to doubles action in Qatar, she entered the WTA Madrid Open singles on a protected ranking and faces what looks like a very difficult first-round draw in the shape of the in-form Veronika Kudermetova.

Kudermetova reached the final in her first tournament of the season in Abu Dhabi before winning the title at the WTA Charleston Open. She backed that up with a run to the semifinals in Istanbul, although she was well beaten there by Elise Mertens. Still, it has been an undeniably impressive start to 2021 for Kudermetova, who looks to have a bright future. It would certainly be a significant surprise if she did not have enough to account for her compatriot here.

Prediction: Kudermetova in 2
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Hsieh Su-wei vs Tamara Zidansek

Head-to-head: Hsieh 1-0 Zidansek

Hsieh Su-wei has not always thrived on the clay. But the Taiwanese has scored some good wins on the surface, including over her first-round opponent in Madrid, Tamara Zidansek in Rabat in 2018. That being said, it is not clear what sort of shape her game will be in, with the world #65 having not played competitively since reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in February. Zidansek, meanwhile, has been playing and rather well at that. She reached the semifinals last time out in Bogota earlier this month and, on her preferred surface, should be in good position to get the better of Hsieh.

Prediction: Zidansek in 3
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Garbine Muguruza vs Sloane Stephens

Head-to-head: Muguruza 2-2 Stephens

This is unquestionably amongst the most high-profile matches of day one at the WTA Madrid Open. Indeed, it is the only match to feature a Grand Slam champion on both sides of the net. And both Garbine Muguruza and Sloane Stephens possess excellent clay-court resumes, with Muguruza winning the French Open in 2018 and Stephens finishing as a runner-up a year later. Unfortunately, their form recently has been starkly different.

Stephens has struggled for wins since the start of 2020 and arrives in the Spanish capital ranked 51st in the world having won just four of her ten matches this year. Muguruza, who has enjoyed lean spells herself, occupies a loftier position at world #13 and has 21 wins in 2021 to back up her claim to be one of the form players in the women’s game. On home turf, in conditions that suit her aggressive style of play, expect the Spaniard to have too much for Stephens.

Prediction: Muguruza in 2

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