Australian Open Day 1 Predictions Including Sofia Kenin vs Madison Keys

Viktoria Kuzmova in action ahead of the Australian Open.
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Expect plenty of excitement on day one at the Australian Open with a number of interesting matchups on the slate. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Naomi Osaka vs Maria Osorio, Coco Gauff vs Wang Qiang, Barbora Krejcikova vs Andrea Petkovic, Ons Jabeur vs Nuria Parrizas Diaz, Ash Barty vs Lesia Tsurenko, Belinda Bencic vs Kristina Mladenovic and Victoria Azarenka vs Panna Udvardy. But who will book their spot in the last 64?

Australian Open Day 1 Predictions

Sofia Kenin vs Madison Keys

Jim: This is a pretty unfortunate first-round draw for both players, though it’s a potentially great one for the fans. Sofia Kenin is too good of a player not to break the slump she has been in of late and it’s not unthinkable that she could do it here. But Madison Keys played quite superbly to win the title in Adelaide and should be able to back that up here.

Prediction: Keys in 3

Johnny: Keys arrives in Melbourne on a high after winning her first title in over 2 years in Adelaide last week. The error-prone Keys that we have come accustomed to seeing over the last few years wasn’t there, a more measured approach was displayed. Nevertheless, I still don’t trust Keys and doubt she will maintain that high level for long. Kenin is not to be underestimated, she has won this tournament before and is playing with few outside expectations at the moment. It’s a short turnaround for Keys and a tough draw. I think Kenin can draw enough errors with her versatile play to come through this matchup.

Prediction: Kenin in 3

Jakub: This all-American clash has to be one of the most exciting matches of the first round. Kenin had a horrible season last year and hasn’t had the perfect start to this year either with wins over Lucia Bronzetti and Ajla Tomljanovic and losses to Ashleigh Barty and Daria Kasatkina. The 23-year-old cannot be counted out though as she won it all in Melbourne just two years ago. Up against her is former-world #7 Madison Keys, who also lost to Kasatkina this year, but followed it up with a title in Adelaide. The 26-year-old defeated players such as Elina Svitolina and Coco Gauff en route to her seventh WTA title. Kenin and Keys have faced each other three times, all in 2019, with Keys winning two of the matches, both on hard.

Prediction: Keys in 3
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Jessica Pegula vs Anhelina Kalinina

Jim: Jessica Pegula got off to a great start in 2021 in Australia, but the American hasn’t looked much like repeating those heroics this year. But this a good draw for Pegula. Expect her to take advantage of it.

Prediction: Pegula in 3

Johnny: It was in Melbourne 12 months ago that Pegula made her big breakthrough as she reached her first major quarterfinal. The quick hard courts in Melbourne suit Pegula’s game perfectly. However, her lead up to this year’s Australian Open isn’t ideal, a pair of opening round losses in Melbourne and Sydney where she lost in straight sets to Irina-Camelia Begu and Caroline Garcia. Furthermore, Kalinina has won both of the previous meetings between the pair. I still expect Pegula to come through this match, she is the better player and better suited to the conditions, but it might not be easy.

Prediction: Pegula in 3

Jakub: Pegula has truly emerged as a top player since the start of the pandemic and had a very strong showing in Melbourne last year, reaching the quarterfinals. This year has not been as stellar so far for the American, losing to Irina-Camelia Begu and Caroline Garcia in straight sets. Up against her will be Anhelina Kalinina. Kalinina has a 1-2 record going into the Australian Open, but leads the head-to-head 2-0 over Pegula, never dropping more than five games against her in a match. Pegula has certainly become a better player since 2018 when the matches took place but the psychological advantage might still be there. Despite all of that, I believe Pegula will prevail as she is the superior player and will have the pressure to defend points on her back.

Prediction: Pegula in 2
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Camila Giorgi vs Anastasia Potapova

Jim: Camila Giorgi certainly has enough quality to win this match. But the Italian is invariably boom or bust thanks to her ultra-aggressive style of play. Anastasia Potapova, meanwhile, is still finding her feet on the main tour. If Giorgi plays anything like her best tennis, expect her to advance.

Prediction: Giorgi in 2

Johnny: A matchup between two ultra-aggressive players, there won’t be many long rallies in this one. Giorgi had some big results in 2021, most notably her triumph at the 1000 level Rogers Cup. Giorgi’s form hasn’t been great since then, but she should still be strong enough to beat an erratic Potapova. I think Giorgi is the better counter-puncher and has experience on her side in bigger events. Giorgi has a habit of playing better and bigger tournaments and is well suited to the quick hard courts in Melbourne.

Prediction: Giorgi in 3

Jakub: The 30th seed is coming into the Slam with no warm-up but has a streak of four first-round wins at the Australian Open going back to 2018. Potapova is coming into Melbourne with four wins this year, but all of them against opponents outside the Top 90. The young Russian is defending a third round run from last year, but I expect Giorgi to prevent that.

Prediction: Giorgi in 3
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Viktoria Kuzmova vs Wang Xiyu

Jim: Wang Xiyu has played some good tennis in the early weeks of this season, which bodes well for her future. But Viktoria Kuzmova is in good form, and should be feeling confident, after a fine qualifying campaign. Expect her to advance here.

Prediction: Kuzmova in 3

Johnny: A matchup between two ultra-aggressive players, there won’t be many long rallies in this one. Giorgi had some big results in 2021, most notably her triumph at the 1000 level Rogers Cup. Giorgi’s form hasn’t been great since then, but she should still be strong enough to beat an erratic Potapova. I think Giorgi is the better counter-puncher and has experience on her side in bigger events. Giorgi has a habit of playing better and bigger tournaments and is well suited to the quick hard courts in Melbourne.

Prediction: Giorgi in 3

Jakub: The 23-year-old Kuzmova is in as a qualifier after three straight-set victories over Anastasia Gasanova, Jana Fett, and Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov. Her opponent, 20-year-old wild card Xiyu mWang hasn’t looked particularly impressive with losses to Tereza Mrdeza and Rebecca Peterson. If Kuzmova brings her qualifying level, she should win.

Prediction: Kuzmova in 2

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