WTA Toronto Day 2 Predictions Including Maria Sakkari vs Sloane Stephens

Maria Sakkari in action ahead of the WTA Qatar Open.

Despite some rain delays, it’s been a thrilling start to the week at the WTA 1000 event in Toronto. Day 2 sees a number of top players get their campaigns underway in some enticing encounters. As throughout the week, we will be offering up our predictions on the day’s play. We split the day’s new matches between three articles. In addition to this article, the other two feature Madison Brengle vs Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka vs Kaia Kanepi. So, who marches on in Canada?

WTA Toronto Day 2 Predictions

Rebecca Marino vs Qinwen Zheng

Head-to-head: First meeting

Qinwen Zheng is one of the prospects in tennis right now. She’s put in some excellent performances recently, giving a stern test to Iga Swiatek at the French Open and taking Naomi Osaka to a deciding set in San Jose last week. There’s no doubt that a big week is right around the corner for her, and it may well happen this week.

Marino enters her home Masters off the back of a very positive week in Washington where she reached the quarterfinals. She played some excellent tennis, mixing an effective blend of control and power. In terms of ability, Zheng has to be the favourite here. She is rising up in ranking and confidence rapidly, and the 19 year old should see this as a winnable first round.
Prediction: Zheng in 3

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Veronika Kudermetova vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Head-to-head: Kudermetova 2 – 0

This should be a thrilling match. Both players are capable of redlining their games when they’re on form, and we should see some thrilling rallies occur. Kudermetova arrives here after a great week in San Jose, where she lost in the semifinals to Shelby Rogers. As well as this, she’s also never lost to Tomljanovic before.

Tomljanovic had to qualify for this event, which is surprising given how good a player she is. She’d have been disappointed to lose early in Washington, though Samsonova’s level was excellent last week. On form, the edge has to go to Kudermetova. It should be a very close battle, but the Russian looks a bit more solid and confident right now.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 3

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Amanda Anisimova vs Carol Zhao

Head-to-head: First meeting

Anisimova is another player who many are rightly excited about. The young American is having a brilliant season, notching up plenty of good wins and strong runs in tournaments. This is the kind of tournament where a player of her quality should shine, and she may well be a contender if she can stay on mission.

Carol Zhao may be a bit out of her depth here. Before last week in San Jose, her last WTA tournament was in Morocco back in May. Since then, she’s been playing ITFs – and a top opponent like Anisimova seems a bit of a mismatch. I’d be very surprised if the American doesn’t win this comfortably.
Prediction: Anisimova in 2

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Maria Sakkari vs Sloane Stephens

Head-to-head: First meeting

It comes as somewhat as a shock that these two haven’t played before. Sakkari’s ascension to the top of the women’s game has coincided with Stephens’ drop in form, and this should be a very interesting encounter. Sakkari isn’t in great form right now and could do with a confidence boost this week as she steadies herself as a top 10 player in the rankings.

Stephens made very tough work out of her win over Kenin, missing out on match points at 5-1 and 5-2, and failing to serve out the match twice in the third before eventually coming through. Stephens is very out of sorts these days, but can also produce some sensational tennis at any moment. With both players not at their best right now, this could be a topsy-turvy match. I think Sakkari has the weapons to win this one – she’s so explosive and it’s hard to trust Stephens to come through an opponent of her calibre right now.
Prediction: Sakkari in 3

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