Day 2 of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships features a whole load of former Grand Slam champions including Victoria Azarenka, Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, and Sofia Kenin. Who do you think will win?
WTA Dubai Day 2 Predictions
Vera Zvonareva vs Ons Jabeur
It feels like Vera Zvonareva has been around forever and it’s hard not to forget just how good she was back in the day when she made back-to-back Grand Slam finals. She’s obviously nowhere near the player she once was, as highlighted by being ranked outside the world’s top 100 as well as being on a three-match losing streak. Looking at that alone you would think top tenner Ons Jabeur would win this routinely but there are many concerns about her body. Not only did the Tunisian withdraw to end 2021 at the WTA Finals but also retired in Sydney before pulling out of the Australian Open as well. If she’s fit here this should be routine but if she’s nowhere near the level she was for most of 2021, this might be the Russian’s best chance in quite a while to scalp a Top 10 win.
Prediction: Jabeur in 2
Katerina Siniakova vs Garbine Muguruza
Head-to-head: Siniakova 2-1
Fourth seed Muguruza has a tricky start to her campaign in Dubai. It’s strangely because Siniakova has won their last two meetings, including one just six months ago in Montreal. This is where things get a bit weird however, Siniakova has breezed through qualifying to make it into the main draw but before that had lost five matches in a row, the last four without even winning a single set. On the other hand the Spaniard ended 2021 so strongly with the title at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara but has struggled with just two wins this season thus far. It’s easy to see why Siniakova’s game can cause Muguruza problems but realistically this is a matchup always in the world #7’s hands.
Prediction: Muguruza in 3
Aryna Sabalenka vs Marta Kostyuk
You would be forgiven for forgetting Sabalenka is still indeed the second best player in the world purely just because her results in the biggest events don’t show a player of that quality at all. Being just 23 years old, however, there’s no doubt time for that to change. Coming off a disappointing loss to Kanepi at the Australian Open, it will be a good test to see where the Belarusian is at, especially given Kostyuk is a top 50 player who has got three good qualifying wins under her belt. Sabalenka’s game should be too big for the Ukrainian, but you never know when a bad performance is around the corner with her.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2
Sofia Kenin vs Jelena Ostapenko
It’s hard to believe that this match isn’t even on the main court in Dubai. It’s perhaps even harder to imagine both women have won Grand Slams in the past five years given they’re now both ranked outside the Top 20. In Kenin’s defense, the American has had a fair bit of injury struggles whilst the Latvian has severely struggled with her game since winning Roland Garros. As erratic as Ostapenko can be, she’s still got a fair few wins under her belt in 2022 so far–whilst her opponent hasn’t won a single set in her last three matches on tour. It would be nice to see the real Kenin back in action, but I feel it’s too soon for that.
Prediction: Ostapenko in 3
Main Photo from Getty.