Tokyo Olympics Day 1 Women’s Predictions Including Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit

Anett Kontaveit Rogers Cup

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, Damian Kust, 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

Iga Swiatek vs Monta Barthel

Jim:
Iga Swiatek may well be disappointed by her returns at the French Open and Wimbledon, but the Pole remains one of the world’s best and she is clearly comfortable playing on all three surfaces. Don’t expect Mona Barthel to offer much resistance.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2

Damian:
This is a very kind opening draw for Swiatek. Issues might start soon, but not against an opponent who’s coming to Tokyo on a six-match losing streak and has been badly out of form a while now. It’s on the Pole’s racket.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2

Yesh:
Swiatek shocked us by not winning the French Open, and she looked impressive but at times inconsistent at Wimbledon. She should win, but Barthel is a solid enough player that this could get interesting if the Pole slips up.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2

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Samantha Stosur vs Elena Rybakina

Jim:
Samantha Stosur deserves credit for her enduring commitment to the sport, but the Australian is clearly not the force she once was. Elena Rybakina, meanwhile, looks to be improving rapidly. With her easy power, she should be able to hit through Stosur often enough to reach the second round relatively comfortably.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2

Damian:
Stosur has just one match win this year (in February) and she should not present any danger to Rybakina, especially as the Kazakh racked up a few very good results in the past few months. Expect a comfortable victory.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2

Yesh:
Sam Stosur is in the draw as a former Grand Slam champion, and she likes the surface. Unfortunately, she’s well past her prime and has been dealt a brutal draw. Rybakina should cruise.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2

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Nina Stojanovic vs Nao Hibino

Jim:
Nao Hibino will no doubt be desperate to perform well on home turf, even in the absence of crowds. In truth, there doesn’t look to be much in this match. But the added motivation for Hibino–this is a once in a career opportunity after all–might just be enough to see her into the second round.
Prediction: Hibino in 3

Damian:
Hibino leads the head-to-head, but it really hasn’t been a good year for the Japanese. She defeated Stojanovic at the French Open, but it seems like her opponent has really raised her level since then, she also had a great run on hard courts in Miami earlier in the season.
Prediction: Stojanovic in 3

Yesh:
If this match had a crowd Hibino would be an easy pick. It doesn’t, though, so Hibino gets all of the home nation pressure with none of the benefits. That could matter, especially since Stojanovic is currently in solid form.
Prediction: Stojanovic in 3

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Maria Sakkari vs Anett Kontaveit

Jim:
This is a tough draw for both Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit, who might otherwise both have held hopes of going deep at this tournament. This will be their tenth meeting and there has been precious little to split them in the previous nine, with Sakkari winning five and Kontaveit four. Kontaveit has generally had the edge on hard courts, however, and that could well continue here.
Prediction: Kontaveit in 3

Damian:
They share a pretty large head-to-head for a pair of 26-year-olds, and it’s currently a tie on hard courts at three wins apiece. It should be a blockbuster, but Sakkari seems like a player who will really want to perform well representing her country.
Prediction: Sakkari in 3

Yesh:
I have no idea who will win this match. All I know is that I know I don’t want to miss it. Both players are powerful and in good form. Sakkari seems a bit rattled by her French Open disappointment, though, and that could matter on another huge stage.
Prediction: Kotnaveit in 3

Main Photo from Getty.


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