WTA Berlin Open Day 1 Predictions Including Belinda Bencic vs Jule Niemeier

Madison Keys in action ahead of the WTA Berlin Open.

Although the dust has barely settled in Paris, the action is unrelenting with the focus now shifting to the grass-court season and Wimbledon. Every player in the draw at the WTA Berlin Open will doubtless be desperate to build some momentum this week, but who will advance on day one in the German capital?

WTA Berlin Open Day 1 Predictions

Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Anna Kalinskaya

Head-to-head: Alexandrova 3-0 Kalinskaya

Ekaterina Alexandrova’s French Open campaign did not quite go to plan, but the Russian’s second-round defeat at the hands of Barbora Krejcikova looks more understandable in the wake of the Czech lifting the title. Regardless, she will now be looking to get back to winning ways up against an opponent she has had the beating of in the past. Indeed, Anna Kalinskaya has not taken a set off her compatriot in three previous meetings and she mustered just two games in their most recent match.

That was two years ago, however, with Kalinskaya having improved considerably in the interim. She does currently find herself ranked outside of the top 100, but it would be a surprise if she did not get her ranking back into double digits sooner rather than later. That said, there is still a gulf between this pair in terms of experience and quality, even if it is smaller than when they last met. Expect Alexandrova to reach the second round without encountering too many problems.

Prediction: Alexandrova in 2
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Amanda Anisimova vs Alize Cornet

Head-to-head: Anisimova 1-0 Cornet

It has been a largely disappointing season so far for Amanda Anisimova, with the American still struggling to recapture the form that took her to the French Open semifinals as a 17-year-old in 2019. She still has time on her side and there have been some promising signs, including her run to the quarterfinals in Parma last month, but she has been struggling to compete with the best in the world and looked some way off the pace in her straight-sets loss to Veronika Kudermetova in the first round in Paris.

Fortunately for Anisimova, she opens her WTA Berlin Open campaign against Alize Cornet, who is hardly in the form of her life. The Frenchwoman has won just a handful of matches this season and may not be relishing the switch from clay to grass, a surface she has not thrived on historically. In fact, Anisimova won their only previous meeting on the grass courts in Mallorca at a canter. This will likely be closer, but the American should have the edge once again.

Prediction: Anisimova in 3
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Belinda Bencic vs Jule Niemeier

Head-to-head: first meeting

Jule Niemeier has been playing some solid tennis of late, belying her lowly ranking. The German, who at 21 looks to have a bright future ahead of her, has won 23 of the 32 matches she has played in singles this season and impressed in reaching the semifinals in Strasbourg ahead of the French Open, taking Krejcikova the distance before falling just short. Belinda Bencic has not looked quite so impressive, with the Swiss having struggled for much of the season.

At the French Open, she made a fine start by beating 2019 semifinalist Nadia Podoroska for the loss of just three games only to lose 2-6 2-6 to Daria Kasatkina. That inconsistency does not inspire much confidence in her chances ahead of the grass-court season. She is a good enough player that this slump will almost certainly not prove terminal, but up against an in-form opponent playing on home turf, it may be another tournament to forget for the Swiss.

Prediction: Niemeier in 3
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Magdalena Frech vs Madison Keys

Head-to-head: first meeting

Madison Keys enjoyed a solid, if far from spectacular, clay-court swing and will surely be hoping to do some damage on the grass. She certainly has the power to trouble anyone on this surface and Keys remains an exceptionally difficult player to stop when she is on song. However, tempering her power with sufficient accuracy remains a challenge for the 26-year-old, who often looks as likely to hit the back fence as she does the court.

Magdalena French should provide her with a tough challenge. The Pole looked sharp in coming through the qualifying with wins over Tamara Korpatsch and Mandy Minella, and that match practice on grass could give her a crucial advantage here. Ultimately, however, it is hard to see how she will be able to hurt Keys regularly enough to reach the second round. If the American plays anything like her best tennis, she should have enough to advance at the WTA Berlin Open.

Prediction: Keys in 3

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