The dust has barely settled after Indian Wells but we’re already into another WTA 1000 event, this time in Miami. The opening day of the Miami Open will feature a number of exciting matches, including the Chinese youngster Qinwen Zheng taking on Magda Linette. Who do you think will advance?
WTA Miami Day 1 Predictions
Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Jasmine Paolini
Head-to-head: Alexandrova 1-0
Jasmine Paolini made one of the upsets of the tournament at Indian Wells, defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the second round, especially as the Italian was usually associated with clay-court success. She’s definitely proven her versatility by now though and won’t be an easy foe for Ekaterina Alexandrova. Has the Russian managed to truly get going in 2022 yet? Not really, but she’s also suffered from some unfortunate draws (last two losses to Simona Halep and Maria Sakkari). On a rather fast hard court, she can blow Paolini off the court if she plays her best.
Prediction: Alexandrova in 3
Caroline Garcia vs Anna Bondar
Head-to-head: First meeting
Anna Bondar climbed her way up the rankings through excellent ITF results last year, but she’s yet to confirm it on the big stage. She also performs significantly better on clay courts than on hard. Caroline Garcia’s form remains uneven, but there’s been a definite improvement in terms of her performances in the past three weeks or so. The former World No. 4 still has incredible potential (even if she rarely shows it) and the conditions will suit her far better than the Hungarian.
Prediction: Garcia in 2
Beatriz Haddad Maia vs Nuria Parrizas-Diaz
Head-to-head: Parrizas Diaz 2-0
This matchup might not sound incredible on paper, but it might bring us one of the clashes of the round. Nuria Parriazas-Diaz is definitely a late-bloomer, but the Spaniard has recently cracked the top 50 in the WTA Rankings for the first time and has been massively exceeding expectations since the beginning of 2021. Beatriz Haddad Maia has made her way back after a doping suspension and now finds herself just a few spots off her career-high. The Brazilian to Parrizas-Diaz twice last year but while they’ve both been getting similar results in 2022, compared to the previous season it has to be Haddad Maia who took it up a notch. That’s why she’s probably a slight favorite here, but this is one where truly anything can happen.
Prediction: Haddad Maia in 3
Magda Linette vs Qinwen Zheng
Head-to-head: First meeting
Magda Linette is yet to find her rhythm in 2022, winning just three matches in six events so far. The 20-year-old Qinwen Zheng is becoming a real threat and while she couldn’t get past Angelique Kerber at Indian Wells, she held a decisive lead in the third set and just couldn’t keep her cool. The Chinese might not be a mental juggernaut yet, but she should enjoy the faster conditions at Miami a lot more and as usual, she’ll play this match trying to dominate the rallies and keep Linette on the back foot.
Prediction: Zheng in 3
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