Tokyo Olympics Day 1 Women’s Predictions Including Barbora Krejcikova vs Zarina Diyas

Barbora Krejickova 2021 French Open Final

Day 1 of tennis at the Tokyo Olympics is Saturday (in Tokyo; late Friday night in the United States), and we’re here to share our thoughts on every match. Players fight for ranking points and national glory, and the Olympics almost always brings out the best in athletes. Monica Puig won this tournament in 2016, but she’s not in the draw this year. Who will win on Day 1? Our writers share their thoughts. Predicting this set of matches are Jim Smith, Manuel Traquete, and Yesh Ginsburg. We also have predictions for the rest of the day’s matches, split between three other articles. One features Barbora Krejcikova vs Zarina Diyas, the second headlines Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit, and the third features Kiki Bertens vs Marketa Vondrousova.

Tokyo Olympics Day 1 Women’s Predictions

Sara Errani vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Jim:
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova only went 2-2 for on the grass, but the Russian will be expecting an improvement back on the hard courts. She probably won’t be amongst the medals come the tournament’s end, but Sara Errani is unlikely to give her much trouble,
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 3

Manuel:
Errani might be a former Slam finalist and Top 5 player but those glory days are long gone and she’s now struggling to even win matches. Pavlyuchenkova, on the other hand, is having the best period of her career at the ripe age of 30, having just reached the French Open final; she will be devastated at missing that chance to win a Slam but will surely try to channel that disappointment into fighting for a medal here in Tokyo and this first round is unlikely to cause her much trouble.
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 2

Yesh:
Errani is not the player she once was, though she still has moments of solid play. Pavlyuchenkova is finally looking comfortable in big moments now, and she’s a much better player than the Italian at the moment.
Prediction: Pavlyuchenkova in 2

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Heather Watson vs Anna-Lena Friedsam

Jim:
This should be an entertaining clash, with both women looking like they are in with a good chance of winning it. But Heather Watson has the better record on Asian hard courts, with the Briton having historically done well during the Asian swing. Expect her to have the edge here.
Prediction: Watson in 3

Manuel:
Both players have struggled a lot to win matches recently and had very disappointing performances at both the French Open and Wimbledon. Watson is generally the better and more consistent player, however, and is likely to prevail here, as she did the last (and only time) they faced.
Prediction: Watson in 2

Yesh:
Watson has a favorable draw here, as neither woman is in great form right now. Then again, that makes for a pretty even and entertaining match. The Brit will likely want to step up as Johanna Konta unfortunately couldn’t make it to Tokyo due to COVID. That could make the difference.
Prediction: Watson in 3

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Paula Badosa vs Kristina Mladenovic

Jim:
Both Paula Badosa and Kristina Mladenovic are at their best when playing on the front foot. But there is no doubt that it is Badosa who has been the more impressive player of the two of late. The Spaniard reached the quarterfinals at the French Open and the fourth round at Wimbledon. If she maintains the form she displayed in Paris and London, she should be able to get past Mladenovic.
Prediction: Badosa in 3

Manuel:
Badosa is having quite an excellent season and she has recently made the quarters at Roland Garros and fourth round at Wimbledon. Mladenovic, on the other hand, has been struggling all season. Her best result was a quarterfinal appearance in Lyon, where she lost to… Badosa. The Spaniard is a clear favorite here and should have little issues advancing to the second round.
Prediction: Badosa in 2

Yesh:
Badosa looks like a future Spanish star, but she’s much better on clay than hard courts. Mladenovic, on the other hand, might theoretically be a more solid player, but has also been in terrible form all season. The Spaniard should have this.
Prediction: Badosa in 2

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Barbora Krejcikova vs Zarina Diyas

Jim:
Barbora Krejcikova’s victory at the French Open was a surprise, but the Czech appears to have adjusted well to the pressure that comes with Grand Slam success. Her all-court game makes her a dangerous opponent on all three surfaces and it is hard to see how Zarina Diyas will be able to contend with that.
Prediction: Krejcikova in 2

Manuel:
This is perhaps the biggest mismatch of the day. The Roland Garros champion should have little issues against an opponent who’s barely Top 100. Diyas has not made a deep run all year and really isn’t expected to make one here.
Prediction: Krejcikova in 2

Yesh:
Krejcikova proved her dominance on clay this year, and followed it up with solid play on grass. Now she moves to hard court, where her opponent is comfortable. Still, Krejcikova has made an incredible breakthrough these past few months, and she won’t let it up so easily.
Prediction: Krejcikova in 2

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