French Open Day 1 Women’s Predictions Including Clara Burel vs Maria Sakkari

Elise Mertens in action ahead of the French Open.
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There should be no shortage of exciting tennis for the fans in Paris on day one at the French Open with 20 first-round matches on the schedule. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Ons Jabeur vs Magda Linette, Kristina Mladenovic vs Leylah Fernandez, Kaia Kanepi vs Garbine Muguruza and Bernarda Pera vs Jil Teichmann. But who will book their place in the round of 64?

French Open Day 1 Predictions

Astra Sharma vs Varvara Gracheva

Jim: Astra Sharma has pulled off some fairly surprising first-round victories at the Majors over the years and, were she to win here, it would be another. It’s not out of the question with neither player having been in particularly impressive form of late. But Varvara Gracheva probably has the higher ceiling of the two and her game is better suited to the clay.

Prediction: Gracheva in 3

Jakub: Sharma is not having a great season, a 7-11 record with last week’s Rabat quarterfinal the highlight. Gracheva has been better than that, though also not blowing anyone away with a couple of second-round runs out of qualifying at bigger tournaments like Madrid or Dubai. With Sharma having little pedigree on red clay and Gracheva defending third-round points, the latter seems a more likely winner.

Prediction: Gracheva in 2
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Lauren Davis vs Marie Bouzkova

Jim: This is another potentially close match. Lauren Davis impressed last-time out in Rome, reaching the second round as a qualifier. Marie Bouzkova was not in Rome, but went one better in Madrid, making the third round having come through the qualifying. With little between the pair on paper, Bouzkova’s greater affinity for the red clay might just prove the difference.

Prediction: Bouzkova in 3

Jakub: Davis is not on her best on red clay but she did get a couple of wins coming into Roland Garros this year, qualifying for Rome and beating Jelena Ostapenko. Bouzkova is having her first winning clay season in five years, though that is mostly due to her third-round Madrid run. The Czech also prefers hard courts but clay is a more natural surface to her, so she is the favorite for me.

Prediction: Bouzkova in 3
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Clara Burel vs Maria Sakkari

Jim: How far can Maria Sakkari go at the French Open. The Greek impressed in reaching the last four in 2021 and will feel that she has the talent to go further still this season. It has not been a particularly impressive clay-court season so far for the Greek, however, and Clara Burel is a potentially tough first opponent. Still, it would be a big surprise to see Sakkari fall at the first hurdle.

Prediction: Sakkari in 2

Jakub: Burel is another French wild card having a bad year. The 21-year-old has struggled with the transition to main tour, currently 5-10 on the year and on the verge of dropping out of the Top 100. Sakkari has failed to follow up her decent hard-court results on clay this year, going 3-3 on the surface. While the Greek should be worried about defending semifinal points here, Burel should not pose too much of a threat.

Prediction: Sakkari in 2
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Elena-Gabriela Ruse vs Elise Mertens

Jim: It has been a frustrating season for Elise Mertens, with injuries not helping her cause. But her run to the quarterfinals in Strasbourg was promising and this looks like a winnable match for a player of her undoubted ability. Elena-Gabriela Ruse is a fine player on her day, but she has been struggling for form in recent weeks.

Prediction: Mertens in 3

Jakub: Ruse has surprisingly not been great on clay this year compared to the last couple of seasons, going 2-4. Mertens came back from injury last week in Strasbourg and reached the quarterfinals where she lost to Kaja Juvan. The Belgian is having a worse season than usual but in her five Roland Garros main draw appearances, she has always reached the third round or better.

Prediction: Mertens in 2

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