WTA Madrid Day 1 Predictions Including Amanda Anisimova vs Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka in action at the WTA Stuttgart event.
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It’s the first two-week edition of the WTA Mutua Madrid Open and the main draw action commences with Day 1 on Thursday. One of the most exciting clashes of the first round will be World No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka trying to score her first win against Amanda Anisimova. We also look at the rest of the day’s matches, split between three articles. One features Paula Badosa vs Veronika Kudermetova, the second headlines Belinda Bencic vs Irina-Camelia Begu, and the third features Karolina Pliskova vs Marie Bouzkova. Who do you think will prevail?

WTA Madrid Day 1 Predictions

Alize Cornet vs Varvara Gracheva

Head-to-head: Cornet 1-0

Varvara Gracheva qualified for this tournament and while her set of opponents wasn’t that tough (Maddison Inglis and Heather Watson), the Russian seemed very comfortable on the courts at Madrid and didn’t lose more than three games in a single set. Alize Cornet had this fantastic run at the Australian Open this year, but has barely been winning matches in other events. Having two matches under her belt already will give Gracheva the advantage against the out-of-form veteran.
Prediction: Gracheva in 3

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Qinwen Zheng vs Karolina Muchova

Head-to-head: First meeting

Both players have experienced health issues recently, retiring from their last tournaments. As such, their performance at Madrid is basically impossible to predict. Karolina Muchova is unbeaten in 2022, winning two rounds in Miami before withdrawing ahead of a third-round clash with Naomi Osaka. Qinwen Zheng has at least played a lot more this season and once she did set foot on the court, the talented youngster had been proving her constant improvement.
Prediction: Zheng in 3

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Victoria Azarenka vs Viktorija Golubic

Head-to-head: First meeting

Viktoria Azarenka plays rather infrequently these days and even when she does, she often has to retire from her matches and withdraws from the tournaments. The Belarusian still has incredible performances from time to time though and generally doesn’t fall below a certain level. Even with her fitness being under a question mark, you need to be on top of your game to take her out. Viktorija Golubic isn’t right now, having lost her only clay-court match in Stuttgart to qualifier Eva Lys.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2

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Amanda Anisimova vs Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: Anisimova 3-0

The two very recently faced on the green clay at Charleston, with Amanda Anisimova scoring her third win over Aryna Sabalenka. However, the Belarusian has reached the final at Stuttgart since, seemingly switching up a gear. Sabalenka is also the defending champion and really enjoys quicker conditions on clay courts. While she struggled to get going this year, it feels like she’s now more or less back to her best. On fast clay like in Madrid, that gives her the edge.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 3

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