A bunch of exciting opening round matchups are scheduled on Monday at the WTA 1000 level Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. A pair of Grand Slam champions will come into their opening round matches as underdogs when Barbora Krejcikova takes on Veronika Kudermetova and Sloane Stephens faces Alize Cornet. Let’s take a closer look at those matches and a couple of others. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches, split between two articles. One features Amanda Anisimova vs Daria Kasatkina and the other headlines Victoria Azarenka vs Kaia Kanepi. Who will advance to the second round?
WTA Cincinnati Day 1 Predictions
Barbora Krejcikova vs Veronika Kudermetova
H2H: Krejcikova 1-0.
Barbora Krejcikova was one of the hottest players on tour in 2021; 2022 has been a completely different story for the 2021 Roland Garros champion. Krejcikova has lost five of her last eight matches, including an opening round loss to Karolina Pliskova in Montreal last week. Meanwhile, Veronika Kudermetova is having the best season of her young career, but did suffer a heartbreaking opening round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic in a third set tiebreaker in the first round of Montreal last week. I think Kudermetova can bounce back here against an opponent that is desperately lacking confidence. Expect Kudermetova to be too strong.
Prediction: Kudermetova in 2
Caty McNally vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich
H2H: First meeting.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich has a substantial edge over Caty McNally according to the rankings. In reality, I don’t think there’s much to separate the pair, especially with neither brining much form or confidence into this tournament. Both possess versatile, all court games, should be a fun one. I’ll give the edge to the more experienced Sasnovich.
Prediction: Sasnovich in 3
Tereza Martincova vs Nuria Parrizas-Diaz
H2H: Parrizas-Diaz 1-0.
Tereza Martincova claimed a couple of notable wins to qualify for the main draw. The Czech beat the top seeded Irina-Camelia Begu and Magda Linette. Nuria Parrizas-Diaz lost her final match in qualifying to Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets but found her way into the main draw as a lucky loser. On form this week Martincova is the way to go here in what is a pretty even matchup.
Prediction: Martincova in 3
Sloane Stephens vs Alize Cornet
H2H: Stephens 1-0.
Not many would have predicted Alize Cornet to be starting the favorite over Sloane Stephens on a hard court in the U.S.A. in 2022, that’s the position we’re in heading into this opening round clash in Cincinnati. Cornet continues to plug away, the Frenchwoman is having a quality season and remains extremely tough to beat for any opponent. On the other hand, Sloane Stephens continues to be a disappointment and has lost five of her last six matches. Stephens is more than capable in this matchup, but at this point it’s impossible to trust her, especially against a gutsy opponent like Cornet. I’ll side with Cornet here to tough out another win.
Prediction: Cornet in 3
Main Photo from Getty.