It certainly takes some time to adjust from the red dirt to the lightening quick grass. Yet, not for Ekaterina Alexandrova, who made quick work of her compatriot Anna Kalinskaya on the first day of the WTA Berlin Open. And Alize Cornet found the grass much more to her liking, dropping just four games while defeating American Amanda Anisimova. How will the women adjust to this surface on Day 2? We also predict the rest of the matches in a separate article.
WTA Berlin Open Day 2 Predictions
Hailey Baptiste vs Jessica Pegula
Head to head: First meeting
Hailey Baptiste and Jessica Pegula have never met in a WTA match. But you can be certain the fellow countrywomen are quite familiar with each other’s games. Baptiste qualified for her main draw berth. Perhaps an advantage in the familiarity of the courts. Yet, Pegula is in excellent form. In fact, Pegula has been on an upward trajectory since her Citi Open in 2019. The power off Baptiste’s racquet won’t prove too difficult for the World #26.
Prediction: Pegula in 2
Angelique Kerber vs Misaki Doi
Head to head: Kerber 5-0 Doi
So far, 2021 has not been Angelique Kerber’s year. The German counterpuncher hasn’t found much success. Roland Garros saw the World #27 exit in the first round at the hands of qualifier Anhelina Kalnina. In Kerber’s defense, clay has never been her strongest surface. Grass may prove a much better opportunity for the struggling Kerber.
Misaki Doi hasn’t fared much better. The Japanese was exited in her opener in her last four tournaments. Yet, Doi hasn’t performed well on grass. After a two year absence from this surface, it may be a big ask to go toe to toe with a player of Kerber’s caliber. In the battle of two slumping players, Kerber has the better pedigree and absolutely commands in their head to head.
Prediction: Kerber in 2
Garbine Muguruza vs Sorana Cirstea
Head to head: Muguruza 3-0 Cirstea
Despite a poor showing on the clay, Garbine Muguruza has demonstrated her chops on grass. The Spaniard was the 2018 Wimbledon champion. Grass certainly aligns well with Muguruza’s quick-paced game and big serve.
Sorana Cirstea’s solid clay court swing was a big confidence builder. The Romanian now finds herself back in the Top 50. That level of belief will make Cirstea a dangerous competitor. I can’t image that Cirstea can bounce Muguruza at the first hurdle. But, this will be no easy win either.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3
Veronika Kudermetova vs Karolina Muchova
Head to head: First meeting
This is really the popcorn match of the day. Two in form players, perhaps playing the best tennis of their careers. A shame this has to happen in the first round. Karolina Muchova reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in the last edition of the tournament. So, the lack of play on the surface isn’t of much concern–Muchova plays quite well on grass. Add to that the Czech’s success since the start of the year, Muchova is definitely favored to win this clash.
Yet Kudermetova has been unrelenting. The Russian claimed the Volvo Car Open title in Charleston in April. She reached the final in Abu Dhabi and semifinal in Istanbul. It’s hard to deny the top form Kudermetova has reached.
Expect a fierce battle here. But I give the slight edge to Muchova who seems to have a higher tennis IQ and will play better in the big moments.
Prediction: Muchova in 3
Main Photo from Getty.