WTA Madrid Open Day 2 Predictions Including Simona Halep vs Sara Sorribes Tormo

Victoria Azarenka in action at the WTA Madrid Open.
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There should be plenty of exciting action on day two at the WTA Madrid Open, with a number of star names set to take to the court in the Spanish capital. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Venus Williams vs Jennifer Brady, Karolina Pliskova vs Cori Gauff, and Misaki Doi vs Naomi Osaka. But who will reach the second round?

WTA Madrid Open Day 2 Predictions

Aryna Sabalenka vs Vera Zvonareva

Head-to-head: Sabalenka 1-0 Zvonareva

Aryna Sabalenka will doubtless be frustrated by having failed to make an impact when it mattered most, namely at the Australian Open and in Miami. However, disappointing as her defeats in Melbourne to Serena Williams and in Florida to Ashleigh Barty were, they should not totally obscure what has been a largely impressive start to 2021 for the Belarusian, who boasts a more than respectable 18-6 record for the season so far.

She may well confident about her chances of making it 19 wins in 2021 in the first round at the WTA Madrid Open. Her opponent Vera Zvonareva has an excellent resume, including a quarterfinal showing at Roland Garros, but clay has never been the Russian’s preferred surface and she is not the force she once was. With Sabalenka’s powerful game likely to prove well-suited to the high-altitude conditions in Madrid, expect the world #7 to get her campaign underway with a comfortable win.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
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Magda Linette vs Zheng Saisai

Head-to-head: Linette 1-0 Saisai

Magda Linette, who missed the start of the season in Australia, is a player in need of wins. The Pole has notched just one so far in 2021, beating the 16-year-old American wildcard Robin Montgomery in in the first round in Miami. Even that match, which one might have expected to prove straightforward for Linette considering the gulf in experience between the pair proved to be a real battle. Fortunately for Linette, her first-round opponent in Madrid has also been struggling so far this season.

Zheng Saisai has won only four of her 13 matches this season and may not be relishing the switch to the clay, a surface she has not thrived on historically. With neither player in particularly impressive form, this looks likely to be a closely fought match, with nerves almost certain to play a role. But that should give Linette the edge. The Pole has the better record on clay over the course of her career and that greater comfort on the terre battue should prove to be the difference here.

Prediction: Linette in 3
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Simona Halep vs Sara Sorribes Tormo

Head-to-head: Halep 1-0 Sorribes Tormo

This is a rather disastrous first-round draw for Sara Sorribes Tormo. The Spaniard is an accomplished clay-courter who arrived at the WTA Madrid Open in solid form, having enjoyed one of the finest weeks of her career last month in Miami, where she reached the quarterfinals. But it is hard to see her getting the better of former-champion Simona Halep. Indeed, in their only previous meeting, which came last year on the clay at Roland Garros, Sorribes Tormo won just four games.

Halep has not quite been at her best so far this season, which may give Sorribes Tormo some hope. But all things are relative and by the standards of most players Halep would be in good form. The Romanian reached the semifinals in Stuttgart last week and has posted a 9-3 record for the season so far. Long baseline rallies are likely to be the order of the day here and unfortunately for Sorribes Tormo, it is far from clear how she could win enough of them to reach the second round.

Prediction: Halep in 2
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Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Victoria Azarenka

Head-to-head: Azarenka 1-0 Alexandrova

This should be an entertaining contest. Victoria Azarenka has played relatively little tennis so far this season, but for the most part, when she has played she has played well. The former-world #1’s best showing came in Qatar where she reached the semifinals and she backed that up by making the last 16 at the WTA Miami Open, where she took a set off eventual champion Ashleigh Barty. But this should be a tough opening test for the Belarusian, with Ekaterina Alexandrova not to be underestimated.

The Russian’s form has been somewhat patchy this season, but she looked to be back to something approaching her best last week in Stuttgart, where she made the quarterfinals. If she can maintain the level of tennis she displayed there she should certainly be able to test Azarenka in Madrid. But, although clay is not Azarenka’s best surface, the high altitude in Madrid makes the court play faster which should suit the 31-year-old. Expect her to edge a three-set thriller.

Prediction: Azarenka in 3

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