Main draw action begins on Monday at the WTA Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey. The second of back-to-back WTA 250 level events in Mexico. Sloane Stephens emerged victorious in Guadalajara last week; who will lift the trophy in Monterrey? Defending champion Leylah Fernandez headlines action on day 1 when she faces Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
WTA Monterrey Day 1 Predictions
Sara Sorribes Tormo vs Kamilla Rakhimova
H2H: Rakhimova 1-0.
Sorribes Tormo was unable to defend her Guadalajara title last week. The Spaniard claimed a couple of straight set wins over Katie Volynets and Magdalena Frech before succumbing to Marie Bouzkova in straight sets. The 25-year-old’s form has really dropped off over the last 6 months, far from the career best form she showed during the first half of last season.
Kamilla Rakhimova made a good start to the season in Melbourne with a run to the quarterfinals at the 250 level warmup event. The 20-year-old hasn’t won a main draw match since that tournament, her latest result was a 1-6 3-6 loss to Beatriz Haddad Maia in Doha qualifying a few weeks ago.
Rakhimova defeated Sorribes Tormo 7-6 6-4 earlier this season in Melbourne in the only previous meeting between the pair. Sorribes Tormo’s lacklustre recent form gives the Russian a good chance at victory once again. However, there were some better signs for Sorribes Tormo last week and the conditions in Mexico are more favourable for her game, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt here.
Prediction: Sorribes Tormo in 3
Panna Udvardy vs Beatriz Haddad Maia
H2H: Haddad Maia 1-0.
Panna Udvardy has started the season with four consecutive losses after finishing 2021 with a strong run of results on clay at the ITF level. In fact, Udvardy hasn’t won a match on a hard court at any level in almost year. There’s little to suggest that will change in Monterrey. Haddad Maia also plays her best tennis on clay but has a game that adapts well to the hard courts. Haddad Maia has rocketed back up the rankings in recent times and should be too strong for the Hungarian.
Prediction: Haddad Maia in 2
Emma Navarro vs Marcela Zacarias
H2H: First meeting.
Main draw WTA matches don’t get any more winnable for these two. A big opportunity for both. Navarro has more experience in WTA main draw matches; she has been in this position numerous times. The American should be good enough to make the most of this opportunity against a player with a low pedigree.
Prediction: Navarro in 2
Leylah Fernandez vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
H2H: First meeting.
Leylah Fernandez will be in action for the first time since a shock opening round loss at the Australian Open to Maddison Inglis. It’s been over a month since that disastrous loss for the Canadian, it will be interesting to see what type of level she can bring to Monterrey where she is the defending champion.
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova arrives in Monterrey fresh from a decent week in Guadalajara where she reached the quarterfinals. The Slovakian recorded straight set wins over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz and Anastasia Potapova before succumbing to Qiang Wang in straight sets.
I’m going for the upset here. Fernandez hasn’t played in over a month and will be experiencing a new type of pressure here as the defending champion for the first time at this level. Schmiedlova is a solid opponent, one that can make life difficult in these circumstances. Schmiedlova looked solid enough last week to make the most of a potentially rusty and nervy opponent.
Prediction: Schmiedlova in 3
Main Photo from Getty.