French Open Day 2 Women’s Predictions Including Serena Williams vs Irinia-Camelia Begu

Serena Williams in action at the WTA Italian Open.

The French Open splits up the first round over three days, and we’ll get 24 women’s matches on Day 2 on Monday. As always, we’re here at LWOT to predict every one of the for you. Three writers will share their thoughts on each match. We look at four matches in this article, plus five more articles. One features Iga Swiatek vs Kaja Juvan, the next headlines Sofia Kenin vs Jelena Ostapenko, the third highlights Garbine Muguruza vs Marta Kostyuk, the fourth features Bianca Andreescu vs Tamara Zidansek, and the final one highlights Belinda Bencic vs Nadia Podoroska. Predicting this match are Andrew Watson, Jim Smith, and Steen Kirby.

French Open Day 2 Women’s Predictions

Storm Sanders vs Elise Mertens

Andrew:
The Aussie is having an excellent season, almost a breakthrough one despite being in her mid-20s. However, the Belgian is a very consistent player who rarely falls to unexpected defeats. Mertens is a maximiser of her game and I expect her rallying shots to be too deep and accurate for Sanders to be effective here.
Prediction: Mertens in 2

Steen:
Sanders is playing some of the best tennis of her pro career and came through qualifying, but that’s not going to be enough most likely., Mertens is 21-8 on the season and is looking to contend here. This should be one way traffic.
Prediction: Mertens in 2

Jim:
Elise Mertens has been in good form lately and with her section of the draw looking relatively open, expect the Belgian to push for a deep run in Paris. She will likely have to face tougher tests down the line than Sanders, who is not the same class as Mertens.
Prediction: Mertens in 2

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Lara Arruabarrena vs Varvara Gracheva

Andrew:
Despite there being over 100 places difference in these players’ rankings I am backing the lower ranked player here. The Spanish qualifier is clearly in good form having qualified and I expect her to be sharp and ready to take Gracheva down. The Russian’s form has been poor so if Arruabarrena does get a swift start I don’t think the mentality will be there to fight back.
Prediction: Arruabarrena in 2

Steen:
Arruabarrena is a former top 60 player who is experiencing a slight resurgence in her form, qualifying for this tournament. Gracheva is at a career high ranking and reached the semis in St. Malo. This potential future star should find a way to get a win against the veteran.
Prediction: Gracheva in 3

Jim:
This could be a close contest. Neither player has been in particularly sparkling form of late, but the Spaniard Arruabarrena had to win three matches to come through the qualifying, which has surely given her some confidence. In contrast, Gracheva has lost her last four matches. The qualifier takes this one.
Prediction: Arruabarrena in 3

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Heather Watson vs Zarina Diyas

Andrew:
This is a match I feel that I’ve seen many times before, but in reality the pair have met only 3 times with Watson’s 2-1 lead containing their only meeting on clay, albeit that was in 2010. Neither player is coming into the tournament with much form and nor do they enjoy the surface. In truth, both players will probably be happy to just win this match and take the extra prize money away with them. In this situation I’m siding with Diyas, her movement is good and ultimately I think she has the greater weapons on the floor.
Prediction: Diyas in 3

Steen:
Watson leads the head-to-head 2-1, but with a 3-7 record in 2021, she’s playing very poorly heading into the second Grand Slam of the season. Diyas is 6-8 and although she’s well off her best tennis, should be good enough to win this first round matchup.
Prediction: Diyas in 2

Jim:
Watson has played relatively little tennis and when she has played she has lost more often that not. Diyas in indifferent form herself, but the Kazakh has at least won a handful of matches on the clay. Expect her to have the beating of the Briton.
Prediction: Diyas in 2

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Serena Williams vs Irinia-Camelia Begu

Andrew:
This isn’t going to be a walkover for the former Roland Garros champion. Begu, like most Romanian players, is highly competent on clay, though perhaps lacks the movement of most of her compatriots. However, if Williams is only half-cooked she could have problems here. I’m predicting this to go three sets but the champion spirit of the American should see her through in the end.
Prediction: Williams in 3

Steen:
Serena easily won their only meeting (Rome 2016), but former Top 30 player Begu is not a complete pushover on clay. In limited preparation Serena has struggled, but she still has a great record at her “worst” slam (66-15) and should be able to get the win here.
Prediction: Williams in 2

Jim:
Williams has not been at her best of late, but it is hard to see her falling short against Begu. The Romanian does not have the sort of power to trouble the great Williams nor the speed around the court to shackle her. This should be relatively comfortable for Williams.
Prediction: Williams in 2

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