French Open Day 1 Women’s Predictions Including Victoria Azarenka vs Svetlana Kuznetsova

Madison Keys in action ahead of the French Open.
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With 20 first-round matches on the schedule on day one at the French Open, there will be plenty of action for the fans – both on the grounds and watching from home – to enjoy. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Amanda Anisimova vs Veronika Kudermetova, Naomi Osaka vs Patricia Maria Tig, Ana Konjuh vs Aryna Sabalenka, and Greet Minnen vs Petra Kvitova. Making their picks for this group of matches are David Gertler, Jim Smith and Andrew Watson. But who will advance?

French Open Day 1 Predictions

Katerina Kozlova vs Ajla Tomljanovic

David: Ajla Tomljanovic had a relatively good clay court season, hitting with good controlled aggression. However, she had to retire from her last match in Belgrade against Rebecca Peterson. Still, if she is close to 100%, she should be able to control the baseline effectively against Kozlova.

Prediction: Tomljanovic in 2

Jim: After a miserable run at the end of 2020, Tomljanovic has steadied the ship in the early months of this season, without accomplishing much else. But she has been winning more frequently, and at a higher-level, than Kozlova. Expect the Australian to have the edge here.

Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3
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Elena Rybakina vs Elise Jacquemot

David: Elena Rybakina seemed to be finding her form once again in her last tournament in Madrid. Despite playing terrible at the net, she was still able to give Elise Mertens a huge fight in the second round of Madrid. Rybakina should be able to overpower an out-of-form Elsa Jacquemot, who is only in the main draw because she won the French Open juniors title last season.

Prediction: Rybakina in 2

Jim: 2021 has been a disappointing year for Rybakina so far, with the Kazakh failing to build on the impressive strides she made last season. But she has shown some signs of life lately and has perhaps been unlucky with some of the draws she has received. If that is the case, then her fortune has changed here with this looking like a winnable match for the 21st seed.

Prediction: Rybakina in 2
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Victoria Azarenka vs Svetlana Kuznetsova

Jim: It cannot be particularly common for two former-Grand Slam champions to square off in the first round at a Major. It is also hard to know what sort of shape both will be in, with Azarenka having been out of action since Madrid whilst Kuznetsova has not played a shot in anger since Miami. But Azarenka, injury aside, has been playing the better tennis in recent months.

Prediction: Azarenka in 3

Andrew: A matchup of two veterans here, they first played each other in 2007. Azarenka has won the last 5, though only one of those has been in the last 5 years. I like Azarenka in this match as well because the Russian’s French Open record has been abysmal recently. Azarenka has been ok this season but will want to kick up a gear now.

Prediction: Azarenka in 2
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Oceane Dodin vs Madison Keys

Jim: One can never quite be sure what to expect from Madison Keys. There is no doubting the American’s ability, but consistency remains elusive for the 2017 US Open runner-up, with persistent injury problems not helping her cause. But in a match that looks likely to be something of a slugfest, she should have the edge over Dodin.

Prediction: Keys in 2

David: Dodin had to retire from her last match against eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova in Strasbourg, but did qualify for that tournament. Dodin is a big-hitter and can play good tennis, but her health is certainly a big question mark. Keys doesn’t like the clay, but has a bit more power than Dodin and should be able to rush Dodin enough to throw the Frenchwoman off her game.

Prediction: Keys in 3

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