Day 2 of tennis at the Tokyo Olympics is Sunday (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 3? Our writers share their thoughts. Predicting this set of matches are Jim Smith, Fraser Learmonth, and Jack Edward. We also have predictions for the rest of the day’s matches at the Tokyo Olympics, split between three other articles. One features Ashleigh Barty vs Sara Sorribes Tormo, the second headlines Aryna Sabalenka vs Magda Linette, and the third features Petra Kvitova vs Jasmine Paolini.
Tokyo Olympics Day 2 Women’s Predictions
Karolina Pliskova vs Alize Cornet
After the disappointment of falling just short at the All-England Club, it will be interesting to see where Karolina Pliskova’s game is at in Tokyo. But if she plays anything like the sort of tennis she did at Wimbledon, she should be fairly comfortable here.
Prediction: Pliskova in 3
Two months ago I may well have taken Cornet to win this match, such was the poor form of former world #1 Pliskova. However, the Czech has found her game since then and is fresh off a finals appearance at Wimbledon. Her big serve and groundstrokes should serve her well in Tokyo, particularly against a player who lacks the variety to make her too uncomfortable. Expect Pliskova to advance comfortably here.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2
A new version of Pliskova was born this Wimbledon. Though she had a mental lapse at the start of the final, her form throughout the tournament was difficult to argue with. Provided no fatigue has set in for her, Cornet won’t have the answers.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2
Caroline Garcia vs Donna Vekic
This has the makings of an entertaining match. Both Caroline Garcia and Donna Vekic are very clean ball strikers, comfortable in the forecourt and at the baseline. But Garcia probably has the higher ceiling and she should also have an advantage in terms of match sharpness.
Prediction: Garcia in 3
This is as close to a flip-of-the-coin match as you’re likely to get in these Olympics. Both players have no real form to speak of, are well below their best levels and are in desperate need of a good run. Garcia likely has the higher ceiling of the two but looks so short of confidence it is nearly impossible to pick her at the moment. Vekic should win this, if only because she appears to be able to control her emotions better when out on the court at the moment.
Prediction: Vekic in 2
Formerly World #4, Caroline Garcia hasn’t been in Top 10 form for a few years now. Vekic has also arguably been underperforming of late so both players will be desperate for a win. I’ve been more impressed with Vekic’s game recently, however. Expect a battle but Vekic comes out on top.
Prediction: Vekic in 3
Elina Svitolina vs Laura Siegemund
Elina Svitolina has been in poor form of late, but the Ukrainian rarely loses in the first round and it would be a surprise if she does here. Laura Siegemund is a solid baseliner, but she doesn’t have the sort of power to really trouble Svitolina if the Ukrainian plays anything like her best tennis.
Prediction: Svitolina in 3
Monfils–formerly Svitolina–took some time away after Wimbledon to get married to men’s tennis star Gael Monfils. With things going well in her personal life, Tokyo is a chance for her to right the ship as far as her tennis is concerned after a less-than-stellar 2021 campaign. The Ukrainian is undoubtedly the better player of the two here, but her subpar year means this is a winnable for Siegemund. I expect the Ukrainian to advance, but it should be a close-fought affair.
Svitolina Monfils in 2
As a recent newlywed, Mrs. Monfils’ mind could potentially be elsewhere as she clashes with Laura Siegemund and, to boot, her form has been spotty to for a World #6. Siegemund has an under-appreciated all-court game that can be dangerous if her opponent isn’t hitting accurately. It’ll be close again but I’ll pick Siegemund to squeeze through.
Prediction: Siegemund in 3
Ons Jabeur vs Carla Suarez Navarro
It would be a great story of Carla Suarez Navarro to forge a deep run at the Olympics. But it doesn’t look very likely. Ons Jabeur has been one of the form players on the WTA Tour this season and the Tunisian’s power and variety should see her past the Spaniard.
Prediction: Jabeur in 3
Suarez Navarro’s return to the circuit to complete her farewell tour is undoubtedly the feel-good story of tennis this year. The Spaniard is beloved by fans and players alike and it is a joy to see her single-hand backhand back on our screens for a few more months. Unfortunately for her, draws haven’t been kind since returning. After facing world #1 Barty in the first round of Wimbledon, she must now face red-hot Ons Jabeur in Tokyo. Jabeur is a brilliant player on all surfaces and looks set to continue climbing up the ranks in 2021. She should win this comfortably and is a real threat to all the other women at the Tokyo Olympics.
Prediction: Jabeur in 2
Suarez Navarro showed her mettle at Wimbledon, giving eventual champion Ash Barty more than her fair share of trouble. Jabeur had a dream run herself on the grass and, though her game style might have to change a little, she’ll hit one too many blistering forehands for the Spaniard. Sure to be a first round treat, it should go down to the wire.
Prediction: Jabeur in 3
Main Photo from Getty.