French Open Day 1 Women’s Predictions Including Ana Konjuh vs Aryna Sabalenka

Katerina Siniakova in action ahead of the French Open.
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It should be a packed day of action on day one at the French Open, with 20 first-round matches on the schedule in Paris. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Naomi Osaka vs Patricia Maria Tig, Amanda Anisimova vs Veronika Kudermetova, Victoria Azarenka vs Svetlana Kuznetsova and Greet Minnen vs Petra Kvitova. Offering their predictions for this group of matches are Jim Smith and Andrew Watson. But who will advance?

French Open Day 1 Predictions

Anhelina Kalinina vs Angelique Kerber

Jim: It is hard to understand quite how things have gone so wrong for Angelique Kerber, with the former-world #1 looking like a shadow of the player who won three Grand Slam titles. She also has a less than impressive recent record at Roland Garros, having lost in the first round in four of the last five years. Up against a player who should be match sharp after coming through the qualifier, expect it to be another trip to Paris to forget for the German.

Prediction: Kalinina in 3

Andrew: Though the German champion is getting closer to retirement she has won four of her last five first round matches and I don’t think she will want to depart early from Paris. She still has excellent movement and her left-handed game will cause her lower ranked opponent a few problems.

Prediction: Kerber in 2
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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Christina McHale

Jim: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was no doubt bitterly disappointed by the way her campaign in Madrid ended, with the Russian clearly hampered by injury in her straight-sets semifinal defeat. But she has a good chance to bounce back from that frustration here up against McHale, who has won just one match at the French Open since reaching the third round in 2012.

Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 2

Andrew: The Russian is always someone who is difficult to predict. What I can say is that this match will be decided on her racket. If she can keep the winners to unforced errors ratio positive or close to even then she will win. I have faith in Pavlyuchenkova to do enough here to get through.

Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 3
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Ana Konjuh vs Aryna Sabalenka

Jim: Aryna Sabalenka may have received a relatively kind draw overall, but this should be a test for the Belarusian. Konjuh, who has been ranked as high as world #20, impressed in coming through the qualifying, winning all three matches in straight sets, and has been in good form throughout the clay-court swing. Still, Sabalenka’s power should see her safely into the last 64.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 3

Andrew: The draw seems to have opened up for Sabalenka in this Grand Slam. It represents her best chance so far of reaching the latter stages, but this opening hurdle could be a tricky one. Konjuh looked set for a rise similar to Sabalenka’s when she was struck down with serious health problems. Thankfully she appears to be back to some form and is capable of causing the Belarusian problems. However, their games are similar and I think at the moment Sabalenka is the one who will be able to dominate more and that gives her the edge.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
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Marie Bouzkova vs Katerina Siniakova

Jim: This may not be one of the headline clashes of day one at the French Open, but it should be an entertaining contest. There looks to be relatively little in it on paper, but Katerina Siniakova has the greater clay-court pedigree and has performed well in Paris in the past, notably reaching the fourth round in 2016. Marie Bouzkova, in contrast, is still looking for her first win in the French capital. That could prove to be the difference.

Prediction: Siniakova in 3

Andrew: The battle of the Czechs should be a fascinating one. Bouzkova probably has the slightly better overall game but Siniakova is good on this surface and seems to raise her game against fellow Czechs, winning four of her last five in this scenario. Bouzkova is in poor form at the moment and I think Siniakova should be favourite based on that.

Prediction: Siniakova in 3

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