WTA Melbourne Summer Set 2 Day 1 Predictions Including Sara Sorribes Tormo vs Beatriz Haddad Maia

Sara Sorribes Tormo
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Tennis is back, the first Grand Slam of the year is just a few weeks away and all feels right with the world again. Well, from a tennis perspective it does. Melbourne is once again playing host for a couple of warmup tournaments ahead of this year’s Australian Open. The fields for each are stacked on account of all of the best players in the world already being in Australia. So, we’re in for some good tennis in the coming days, but who comes out on top in day one’s action? As ever, we try and establish exactly that in 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

Alison van Uytvanck vs Amanda Anisimova

Head-to-head: First meeting

Amanda Anisimova should come out firing in this match. After a blistering 2019 campaign that saw her rise inside the top 20, the American has had back-to-back disappointing years in 2020 and 2021. Personal issues away from the court – including the loss of her father – have made it difficult for Anisimova to rediscover her best tennis. however, towards the end of 2020 she showed signs of life and may well be one to watch on the tour this year. This is a tricky first match for her though, with Alison Van Uytvanck possessing a game that makes her dangerous on fast hard courts such as these. The Belgian hits a hard, flat ball that skids on and makes her a tough task for any opponent. Anisimova should be able to get over the line her if she plays her best tennis. However, she may need three sets to find it.

Prediction: Anisimova in 3
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Sorana Cirstea vs Varvara Gracheva

Head-to-head: First meeting

Varvara Gracheva îs another promising young talent who made inroads on the tour last year. The Russian is a very capable young player who enjoys fast hard courts and will be hoping to make a strong start to her year here in Melbourne. However, she faces a tough test here against Sorana Cirstea. The Romanian enjoyed something of a resurgence last year, winning her first tour title since 2008 and moving back inside the top 50. Cirstea has a lethal backhand when she is on song and overall has a game well suited to conditions here. Gracheva is a good young player, but if Cirstea continues from where she left off last year she should win comfortably here.

Prediction: Cirstea in 2
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Clara Tauson vs Anhelina Kalinina

Head-to-head: First meeting

Clara Tauson was perhaps the standout story of 2021 among WTA players not named Emma Raducanu. The young Danish star won two tour titles and a Challenger event on her way to a 42-15 win/loss record. Her game has no clear weakness. A big serve and effortless power off both wings make her a real threat at any tournament, but particularly on hard courts such as these. Anhelina Kalinina had a breakout year herself in 2021. However, the Ukrainian is outgunned here and will do well to keep this close if Tauson brings anything close to the form she showed last year. Expect the Danish star to advance here.

Prediction: Tauson in 2
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Sara Sorribes Tormo vs Beatriz Haddad Maia

Head-to-head: 2 – 1 Haddad Maia

On paper this looks a bit one-sided and I expect it to play out that way in practice as well. Sara Sorribes Tormo enjoyed a breakout year in 2021. The Spaniard won her first tour title and was unlucky not to lift more than one. She beat some of the better players in the game throughout the year, showing she deserves a place among the best in the game. Beatriz Haddad Maia on the other hand sits inside the top 100 by virtue of her five ITF titles last year. The Brazilian is yet to show that she can mix it with the players on the WTA Tour on a regular basis. As such, she is out of her depth here. Sorribes Tormo will make the Brazilian earn every point even if she isn’t playing well. Expect that wall-like defence to be enough to see her through this match.

Prediction: Sorribes Tormo in 2

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