Starting the WTA Madrid Open on the previous week is giving women’s tennis a lot of spotlight and looking at the slate of matches coming on Friday, it surely deserves it. World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty takes on Tamara Zidansek, while recent Charleston champion Veronika Kudermetova will play Kiki Bertens. Who do you think will advance? We also have predictions for the rest of the day’s matches.
WTA Madrid Open Day 3 Predictions
Jil Teichmann vs Paula Badosa
Head-to-head: Badosa 2-0
The two have already faced each other this year in Miami, as Jil Teichmann retired up 6-5 in the first set due to a thigh injury. The Swiss will get another shot at Paula Badosa now and with her apparently back in full flight, this is looking like a really even matchup. Teichmann saved six match points in the opening round to defeat Elina Svitolina and maybe even more so with that being her first match after an injury, that kind of win is bound to give her a lot of confidence.
Not that Badosa isn’t doing well with a semifinal appearance in Charleston and a good win over Barbora Krejcikova here. Have you ever heard of “when in doubt, go with the higher-ranked”? Well, I just coined it but it’s enough for me. In all seriousness, Teichmann’s firepower advantage could allow her to dominate here if she has a good day at the office.
Prediction: Teichmann in 3
Sloane Stephens vs Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur isn’t really known for her clay-court abilities, although she did catch two great runs at Charleston in April. These events were played on the American green clay though, which not always translates to success on the European dirt. However, Sloane Stephens is only rarely showing glimpses of her 2018 form, when she lost the Roland Garros final in the deciding set to Simona Halep. This could really go both ways but Stephens’ natural ability to play on this surface just about takes it for me.
Prediction: Stephens in 3
Veronika Kudermetova vs Kiki Bertens
Head-to-head: Bertens 1-0
Kiki Bertens still isn’t quite herself after an achilles surgery, but being back on her best surface might help. She already scored her first win on the tour since Roland Garros, taking out 15-year-old talent Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva. But can she beat a player as match tough as Veronika Kudermetova? The young Russian is fresh off capturing her maiden WTA title at Charleston and has been playing by far the best tennis of her career. All the match rhythm she has gathered makes her a tiny favorite for this one.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 3
Ashleigh Barty vs Tamara Zidansek
Head-to-head: First meeting
The defending champion at Roland Garros raised a few eyebrows when she decided not to leave Australia after the pandemic broke out last year but she’s back on the tour now and showing all the doubters her competence is not to be questioned. Ashleigh Barty is 17-3 in her last 20 clay-court matches, dating back to Madrid two years ago. She’s coming off a title at an extremely stacked WTA 500 event in Stuttgart and demolished Shelby Rogers in the opening round here. Not taking anything away from Tamara Zidansek, the recent runner-up at Bogota, but this should be rather comfortable. Even if the Slovakian brings her best game, Barty’s mental toughness has been off the charts lately.
Prediction: Barty in 2
Main Photo from Getty.