Tokyo Olympics Day 2 Women’s Predictions Including Aryna Sabalenka vs Magda Linette

Aryna Sabalenka Serena Williams Australian Open

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, split between three other articles. One features Ashleigh Barty vs Sara Sorribes Tormo, the second headlines Petra Kvitova vs Jasmine Paolini, and the third features Ons Jabeur vs Carla Suarez Navarro.

Tokyo Olympics Day 2 Women’s Predictions

Veronica Cepede Royg vs Wang Qiang

Jim:
Wang Qiang found a rich vein of form immediately before the French Open, but lost in the second round to Cori Gauff and she has not played since. Nonetheless, she should have the beating of Veronica Cepede Royg. The Paraguayan does not play regularly at this level and looks to be in danger of being overmatched.
Prediction: Wang in 2

Fraser:
This is another earlier matchup that seems to be an easy call. Cepede is ranked well outside the top 200 in the women’s game and has little experience at the highest level of women’s tennis. By contrast, Wang is a title winner on the WTA circuit and has featured inside the top 20 in the women’s rankings. The Chinese star may be out of form, but she has more than enough in her locker to advance here, particularly on her favourite surface.
Prediction: Wang in 2

Jack:
Cepede Royg is the lowest ranked player in the draw by some margin. She’s reached the fourth round of the French Open once in her career but doesn’t have too much else to boast about. Though Wang has been in unremarkable form, she’ll likely have too much consistency for the Paraguayan.
Prediction: Wang in 2

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Garbine Muguruza vs Veronika Kudermetova

Jim:
Garbine Muguruza surely has a good chance of going all the way in Tokyo–although she is also assuredly not the favorite–but this is a tough first-round draw for the Spaniard. Still, in a baseline battle she has the superior skillset and that should see her safely into the second round.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3

Fraser:
This looks to be one of the more enticing first round matchups in the draw. Both are big ball-strikers with big serves. Muguruza does everything slightly better than Kudermetova with the exception of covering the court. However, that mobility matters less on fast hard courts where the Spaniard can blaze past her opponents with powerful groundstrokes. This should be a tight match, but I expect Muguruza to edge it.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3

Jack:
By her standards, Muguruza has lost her edge a little over the last few months. Kudermetova is a very unfortunate draw for her as she’ll have no time to find her rhythm. Should Muguruza scrape through, she’ll potentially be in fine form for the rest of the tournament… It’ll be tight but I’ll back Muguruza.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3

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Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Elise Mertens

Jim:
This may well be the match of the first round. Both Elise Mertens and Ekaterina Alexandrova are excellent ball-strikers, capable of hurting opponent from both wings. But Mertens is the higher-ranked player with the more extensive CV for a reason. She should have the edge here.
Prediction: Mertens in 3

Fraser:
Another juicy first round encounter lies in store here. Both Alexandrova and Mertens are incredible capable hard-court players with games suited to the conditions in Tokyo. Both have won titles on the surface and have featured in and around the top 20 in the women’s game in recent months. Mertens arguably has a higher ceiling than the Russian, but Alexandrova has dangerous power off both wings and a good serve when it is firing properly. I think the Russian might sneak this, but it really could go either way.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 3

Jack:
I wouldn’t blame Mertens for lacking focus in her first round match. Fresh off the Wimbledon title, she’s in imperious doubles form and has a real shot at taking a Gold Medal. This distraction and some solid serving from Alexandrova could be a recipe for an early exit.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 3

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Aryna Sabalenka vs Magda Linette

Jim:
Aryna Sabalenka finally broke her long stretch of Grand Slam disappointments by reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon, though she will no doubt also be disappointed that she did not reach the final. Her easy power should be rewarded in Tokyo and that should see her past Magda Linette comfortably enough.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

Fraser:
Linette is a solid player with a good track record on hard courts. The Pole is strong off both wings and hits a hard, flat ball that can be difficult to handle. However, she is playing against the second-best player in the women’s game this year in Sabalenka. The Belarusian has been simply superb since the end of 2020. She won three titles last year and has secured another two this year as well as a maiden semifinal appearance at a Grand Slam. She has too much power for even the best on the women’s tour and Linette just isn’t at that level and has no real weapons that could hurt Sabalenka.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

Jack:
Having beaten a couple of top 10 players this year, Magda Linette is a pretty tough first-round opponent for Sabalenka. Nonetheless, the Belarusian hasn’t done much wrong this season and will be in no mood to hang around. Barring a slow start, expect Sabalenka to come through untroubled.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

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