The action heats up on Day 1 of the WTA Chicago Women’s Open with plenty of talent showcased. Two young players take the court in Varvara Gracheva and Tamara Zidansek to showcase future talent. Veterans Kaia Kanepi and Misaki Doi look to ear points to continue to be a presence on tour. Jasmine Paolini has been improving of late and is in action to hopefully make a name for herself on hard courts. There is plenty of good tennis and many players will fight to prove themselves on hard courts. As always, we look at all the matches including Marta Kostyuk vs Katherine Sebov.
WTA Chicago Open Day 1 Predictions
Kaia Kanepi vs Angelina Kalinina
Head-to-head: 1-0 Kanepi
Kanepi will be pleased to be back on hard courts after a tough summer. She started the year strong with a final at Melbourne 2 and a solid first round win at the Australian Open over Sevastova. Kalinina has won a lot of matches this year though most have come at the ITF level. Kanepi is playing strong tennis for her age, and with Kalinina being less experienced against top players and more suited for clay, Kanepi will take the match.
Prediction: Kanepi in 2
Misaki Doi vs Jasmine Paolini
Head-to-head: 1-0 Doi
Paolini favors clay courts, but last week in Cincinnati qualifying scored an impressive straight sets win over Donna Vekic. Combined with a respectable loss to Petra Kvitova at the Olympics, the Italian has improved her game on hard. Doi has had a tough year and has struggled to win matches in the latter half of her career. She has struggled to make any deep runs and has lost more than she has won this year. Paolini has been playing better tennis of late and will have the edge in this matchup.
Prediction: Paolini in 3
Varvara Gracheva vs Tamara Zidansek
Head-to-head: 1-0 Gracheva
Gracheva has talent and a bright future at her age but has had a tough year with just a 12-20 record. Zidansek has had a great year, breaking into the Top 40 for the first time and picking up her first WTA title. Zidansek is a pure clay courter, coming off a great clay season, but Gracheva is arguably more so, with all nine of her career ITF finals on the surface. Gracheva has been on and off this year and Zidansek is both the better player and more comfortable on hard so she will win convincingly.
Prediction: Zidansek in 2
Main Photo from Getty.