The opening round of the 2022 WTA Citi Open will be wrapped up on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Among the most interesting matches is the 2015 champion, Sloane Stephens, taking on Alja Tomljanovic. Fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka also starts her campaign against Dayana Yastremska. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article. Who do you think will prevail?
Xiyu Wang vs Tatiana Maria
Tatiana Maria would obviously be much higher in the WTA Rankings if her Wimbledon efforts were rewarded with points. Here we are though and she’s facing Xiyu Wang, whom she’s already fended off comfortably on hard courts this year. The Chinese is a developing talent and has since exacted revenge on Maria on clay. Wang has more potential and the veteran’s slice and dice game is unlikely to look as threatening as it did on the grass.
Prediction: Wang in 3
Andrea Petkovic vs Clara Tauson
Head-to-head: First meeting
Clara Tauson has the talent to be winning events of the caliber, but the Dane has struggled with her health recently. She retired to Mai Hontama at Wimbledon, her only match in the past three months. As such, her fitness is under a big question mark. Andrea Petkovic is way past her prime and while she’s doing well to keep herself on the main tour, she will be in plenty of trouble here if the teenager is on top of her game. It should really come down to whether Tauson is ready for this physically.
Prediction: Tauson in 2
Alja Tomljanovic vs Sloane Stephens
Head-to-head: Stephens 6-0
That’s quite a head-to-head record, although if there’s ever going to be a good opportunity for Ajla Tomljanovic to beat Sloane Stephens, it’s right now. Both haven’t competed since Wimbledon, but the American has had a truly baffling campaign. Other than the title at Guadalajara and the quarterfinal appearance at Roland Garros, she’s won just one match in all other events. With Tomljanovic coming in with a lot of confidence from the grass, the 2015 champion could be in trouble here.
Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3
Dayana Yastremska vs Victoria Azarenka
Head-to-head: Yastremska 1-0
Victoria Azarenka has performed better than people think this year, but it hasn’t really turned into a huge run (also due to injury issues). She’ll be playing for the first time since the French Open here, so rust could definitely become a factor. Dayana Yastremska won’t be in great match rhythm either and hasn’t done much of note since that great stretch in Dubai/Lyon earlier in the year. The Ukrainian has the game to trouble Azarenka, but she’s not nearly as well-balanced as the two-time Grand Slam champion.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3
Main Photo from Getty.