WTA Melbourne Summer Set 2 Day 1 Predictions Including Jessica Pegula vs Irena-Camelia Begu

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Women’s tennis is back! The WTA Melbourne Summer Set 2 tournament is one of three being played in Australia this week. With all of the world’s best players already in Australia for the Australian Open at the end of this month, the quality and depth in all three tournaments is superb. As ever, we try to judge who should come out on top at the end of each day’s action. With that in mind, let’s dive straight into our WTA Melbourne Summer Set 2 Day 1 predictions. We also predict the rest of the matches in a separate article.

WTA Melbourne Summer Set 2 Day 1 Predictions

Ann Li vs Mayar Sherif

Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Ann Li

Both of these players enjoyed breakout seasons last year. Mayar Sherif cracked the top 100 and looked like she belonged with some great play throughout 2021. However, Ann Li went a step further and lifted her maiden WTA title last year in Tenerife. The young American confirmed her status as a rising star in the game by doing so and will be looking to start this year the way she ended 2021. This should be a great encounter with both possessing the power and aggression needed to do well in Melbourne. Li is the better player and so she gets the edge here, but I expect a close-fought, three-set affair here.

Prediction: Li in 3
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Jasmine Paolini vs Ana Schmiedlova

Head-to-head: 4 – 1 Paolini

Jasmine Paolini and Ana Schmiedlova met twice last year and split the meetings one apiece. Schmiedlova won their hard court encounter which should make her the favourite here. However, Paolini had a breakout year on the tour last year. The Italian is currently knocking on the door of the top 50 in the women’s game and even lifter her maiden title last year in Portoroz. Schmiedlova enjoyed a return to form herself last year with a challenger title in Belgrade. That being said, she still lacks the consistency in her game that saw her inside the top 20 in the world back in 2015. Paolini is the better player here and should win this, even if it does go the distance.

Prediction: Paolini in 3
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Caroline Garcia vs Anastasija Sevastova

Head-to-head: 2 – 1 Sevastova

Three or four years ago this would have been a must-see tennis match. Both Caroline Garcia and Anastasija Sevastova were top 20 players capable of superb tennis more often than not. Now though, they are far from this lofty heights and hold reputations for playing unwatchable, error-riddled tennis at times. They are both outside the top 50 in the world as things stand and will be desperate to regain some form and momentum early in the year as they look to revive their careers. This match is incredibly difficult to call as neither has played good tennis in recent months and both could just as easily crumble instantly as play a blinder of a match and win comfortably. I think Garcia’s aggressive, power-laden game should serve her well here and I’ll give her the edge on that basis but this should go the distance and could go either way.

Prediction: Garcia in 3
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Jessica Pegula vs Irena-Camelia Begu

Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Begu

Somewhat surprisingly, Irena-Camelia Begu leads this head-to-head 1-0. That being said, Jessica Pegula proved last year that she is one of the truly elite players on the women’s tour. She made her first Grand Slam quarterfinal on these courts last year and will surely be thrilled to be back playing on them once more. Begu is a talented player and tough opponent on her day, but the fast courts of Melbourne suit the clean hitting and aggression of Pegula down to the ground. Expect the American to win this relatively comfortably.

Prediction: Pegula in 2

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