WTA Montreal Day 1 Predictions Including Magda Linette vs Nadia Podoroska

Madison Keys in action ahead of the WTA Montreal Open.

The North American hard-court swing is now underway in earnest and the action will continue this week at the WTA Montreal Open. On day one, 24 players will battle for a place in the second round and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Paula Badosa vs Viktorija Golubic and Maria Sakkari vs Marie Bouzkova. But who will reach the second round?

WTA Montreal Day 1 Predictions

Ajla Tomljanovic vs Fiona Ferro

Head-to-head: Tomljanovic 3-0 Ferro

There was precious little to celebrate for Ajla Tomljanovic in 2020 and the Australian continued to struggle through the early months of this season. But she found a rich vein of form at the All England Club to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon. She was unable to build on that momentum at the Olympics, losing in the second round to Elina Svitolina and she fell at the same stage last time out in San Jose, where she lost 6-3 5-7 3-6 to Yulia Putintseva.

But she will surely feel confident in her chances heading into this match despite those defeats. Fiona Ferro looks to have a bright future, but she is much more comfortable on the clay than she is away from it. Nor has she been particularly impressive this season having posted an indifferent 11-13 record so far in 2021. She has also lost her three previous matches with Tomljanovic in straight sets. In their first, she failed to even win a game. She has improved since, but the matchup still favours Tomljanovic.

Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3
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Magda Linette vs Nadia Podoroska

Head-to-head: Linette 1-0 Podoroska

Magda Linette has looked at home on the big stage of late, reaching the third round at both the French Open and Wimbledon, upsetting Svitolina at the latter in the round of 64. That bodes well for her chances at the WTA Montreal Open, where she will open her campaign on the Stade Iga court, which can hold nearly 12,000 spectators at full capacity. She will also be able to take confidence from her 6-1 6-3 win over Nadia Podoroska in their only previous meeting.

But that match was played four years ago in 2017 and the improvements Podoroska has made in the interim cannot be ignored. That being said, she has not yet managed to translate those improvements into consistency on hard courts. Her results on the surface still pale in comparison with what she has achieved on the clay, whereas Linette’s finest hour came in similar conditions to those found in Montreal. The Pole should have the edge here.

Prediction: Linette in 2
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Ons Jabeur vs Clara Burel

Head-to-head: first meeting

This should be an interesting test for Clara Burel up against Ons Jabeur, who has been one of the tour’s most improved performers over the past two years. Jabeur has now reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals, including earlier this season at Wimbledon, and looks likely to break into the top 20 sooner rather than later. She did fall in the first round at the Tokyo Olympics, however, which was doubtless a disappointing blow to the Tunisian.

Burel, meanwhile, should be match sharp after coming through the qualifying at the WTA Montreal Open with wins over Emily Webley-Smith and Heather Watson. She also reached the final in Lausanne last time out and will surely be full of confidence as a result. But that does not change the fact that she is overmatched here. Jabeur can generate considerable power off the ground and can catch opponent’s out with her good touch. Expect her to have too much for Burel.

Prediction: Jabeur in 2
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Rebecca Marino vs Madison Keys

Head-to-head: first meeting

When Madison Keys reached the final at the US Open in 2017, it looked as though it would only be a matter of time before she claimed a Grand Slam title. But the intervening four years have not been kind to the American, who has seen her progress checked by a series of injuries that have, by and large, prevented her from building up any real momentum. The result has been inconsistency with her record in 2021 standing at a disappointing 10-9 heading into this week.

Rebecca Marino has picked up 17 wins, but she has played relatively little tennis at the highest level, instead plying her trade primarily at WTA 125 and ITF events. But she will not want for motivation playing on home turf in Montreal. Will that be enough for her to bridge the gap between her and Keys? Probably not. One can never be quite sure which Keys will show up, but if the American plays anything like her best tennis she should have the beating of Marino.

Prediction: Keys in 2

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