WTA Sydney Day 2 Predictions Including Belinda Bencic vs Beatriz Haddad Maia

Belinda Bencic in action ahead of the WTA Sydney Tennis Classic.
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Action at the WTA Sydney Tennis Classic continues on day two with eight intriguing first-round matches on the schedule in New South Wales. As always, we here at LWOT are offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Emma Raducanu vs Elena Rybakina. But who will book their place in the second round?

WTA Sydney Day 2 Predictions

Elena-Gabriela Ruse vs Magdalena Frech

Head-to-head: Ruse 1-1 Frech

This should be an interesting battle between two players who both enjoyed impressive runs through the qualifying. Elena-Gabriela Ruse hammered home hope Alexandra Osborne for the loss of only three games before beating seventh seed Fiona Ferro 6-3 6-4, whilst Magdalena Frech scored a similarly comfortable win over Alana Parnaby before beating Oceane Dodin, the fourth seed in qualifying, 6-2 7-5 to secure her place in the main draw.

This looks to have the makings of a closer contest. Particularly as they split their first two meetings with their head-to-head tied at one win apiece. Ruse does look to have the slightly higher ceiling of the two and is perhaps the higher-ranked player because of it. In a match that is likely to be decided by fine margins, Ruse’s greater power off the ground should just about give her the edge over the versatile Pole. But not by much.

Prediction: Ruse in 3
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Ajla Tomljanovic vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Head-to-head: Tomljanovic 1-0 Schmiedlova

One can never be quite sure what to expect of Ajla Tomljanovic with the Australian a hard player to beat when she is confident and on song but all too easy to see off when she is not. 2021 was an encouraging year, however, highlighted by her run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and she will doubtless be hoping to build some momentum on home turf this season having reached the second round last week in Adelaide, where she lost narrowly to sixth seed Sofia Kenin.

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, meanwhile, stormed through the qualifying at the WTA Sydney Tennis Classic, dismissing Roisin Gilheany and Vivian Heisen for the loss of just four games. That will surely have given her real confidence heading into this match, but Tomljanovic is a class above the opposition Schmiedlova has faced so far this week. If the Australian plays her best tennis, or something close to it, expect her to have the edge here.

Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3
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Ena Shibahara vs Ekaterina Alexandrova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Ena Shibahara has carved out an excellent career already as a doubles player, but the 23-year-old has also been making impressive strides in singles in the early weeks of this season. She is certainly a better player than her ranking of world #589 suggests, as she demonstrated by coming through the qualifying with comfortable wins over Lisa Mays and American young gun Claire Liu. One suspects, however, that Ekaterina Alexandrova will provide the Japanese with a sterner test.

2021 was a disappointing season for the Russian who slipped out of the top 30 to end the season ranked 33rd and she has fallen seven further places after her first-round defeat last time out in Adelaide at the hands of Leylah Fernandez. But this should be a chance for her to get back to winning ways. Alexandrova will most likely not have things all her own way, but she should have enough power and accuracy to find a way past Shibahara.

Prediction: Alexandrova in 3
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Belinda Bencic vs Beatriz Haddad Maia

Head-to-head: first meeting

Belinda Bencic remains plagued by frustrating inconsistencies, although that has not been helped by her history of injury problems, but she will be surely be targeting a big season in 2022 after winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She backed that run to the gold medal with consecutive quarterfinal showings in Cincinnati and at the US Open, and she has enjoyed success in Australia in the past, last year reaching the final at the WTA 500 Adelaide International.

Beatriz Haddad Maia has rather fallen away after the promising start to her career in 2017 and 2018, but she battled past Yang Zhaoxuan and Gabriela Dabrowski to reach the main draw at the WTA Sydney Tennis Classic and will now be looking to take advantage of that. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, it is hard to see her getting the better of Bencic. Unless the Swiss falls some way short of the standard she usually sets, this should be a comfortable enough day at the office.

Prediction: Bencic in 2

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