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WTA Madrid Day 3 Predictions Including Simona Halep vs Paula Badosa

Paula Badosa in action at the WTA Madrid Open,

Second-round action begins at the WTA Madrid Open with some very attractive match-ups. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match. Who do you think will win? We also have predictions for matches featuring Coco Gauff.

WTA Madrid Day 3 Predictions

Victoria Azarenka vs Tamara Zidansek

Head-to-head: Zidansek 1-0 Azarenka

Azarenka, who beat Viktorija Golubic in the first round, has an interesting record in Madrid. Despite being a two-time finalist here in 2011 and 2012, the Belarusian has not advanced past the second round here since 2016. It’s also difficult to know what to expect from Zidansek, as the Slovenian has not been much of a threat on the main tour since her breakout run at last year’s Roland Garros, though that semifinal result and her three titles on clay show that she has pedigree on the surface. The Slovenian defeated Azarenka in their only previous meeting at Monterrey in 2020. Despite that, I have a feeling Azarenka might be winning this one though it feels almost like a coin flip.

Prediction: Azarenka in 3
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Petra Martic vs Amanda Anisimova

Head-to-head: Martic 1-1 Anisimova

I view Martic as an underrated dangerous floater this clay season. She has had a couple of down seasons that resulted in her ranking dropping to the point that she had to qualify for this event, but there are signs this season that she could be back to her 2019 clay form. The 31-year-old reached the quarterfinals of Indian Wells and has already won matches against Dalma Galfi, Lucia Bronzetti, and Ludmila Samsonova in Madrid. Anisimova has had mixed results on clay since her breakout 2019 Roland Garros run but she looked good in her first-round win against Aryna Sabalenka. They have split their previous two meetings with Martic winning the one on clay. Anisimova’s form has been better this year so, though it may be a close match, I expect her to take this match.

Prediction: Anisimova in 3
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Karolina Muchova vs Belinda Bencic

Head-to-head: Bencic 1-0 Muchova

A potentially very entertaining match-up here if Muchova is on form, especially since she’s a former quarterfinalist. The Czech is coming back from an injury that stopped her last season after the US Open and forced her to start this one in Miami. There Muchova won her first two matches including an upset over Leylah Fernandez before withdrawing. Following another big break after the setback, the 25-year-old has won her first round here, coming back from a set down against Qinwen Zheng. Bencic is one of the most in-form players right now, coming off a Miami semifinal and Charleston title. The Swiss looked strong in a straightforward win over Irina-Camelia Begu and has reached a semifinal and quarterfinal in her last two appearances in Madrid. Bencic is the favorite for me though if Muchova really turns up, it could be a tough one.

Prediction: Bencic in 2
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Simona Halep vs Paula Badosa

Head-to-head: first meeting

Halep missed last year’s Roland Garros and Wimbledon through injury causing a sharp ranking drop which has caused her current position outside of the Top 20 despite her form this year. In the more head-to-head results focused Elo rating and Elo race, Halep is in the Top 10 alongside Badosa, proving that this should be one of the most exciting match-ups of the season so far, especially considering the venue.

Halep has won two titles and reached two more finals in the past eight years. For Badosa, the current No. 2, this is sure to be a special occasion. Madrid is not only where she is the hometown favorite but also where her incredible 2021 rise began, entering the tournament as a wildcard and reaching the semifinal. Since then, the Spaniard is 54-19, winning Indian Wells and Sydney along the way. This will be their first meeting, potentially a special moment for Badosa who has said before that she admires Halep’s style of play.

Predicting this is quite tough, both players were dominant in their first rounds, Halep beating Zhang Shuai and Badosa allowing Veronika Kudermetova only three games. I will take Badosa here, especially if the crowd get themselves involved in this match, as that is all it could take to swing it in the final moments of what I expect to be a great battle.

Prediction: Badosa in 3

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