The Tallinn Open begins Monday in Estonia as the WTA Tour moves more toward indoor hard courts for the end of the year. The field is strong and there should be a lot of great tennis, with many of the women in the draw playing for the first time since the US Open. Several seeds are already in action day one with no players receiving first round byes, including Madison Keys and Ajla Tomljanovic. This will surely be an exciting start to a good week of tennis, and all matches will be previewed at Last Word on Tennis–including four in a separate article.
WTA Tallinn Day 1 Predictions
Karolina Muchova vs Jessika Ponchet
Head-to-head: 1-0 Muchova
Ponchet is looking to take advantage of a rusty Muchova to win the first round match after coming through qualifying. Muchova has played a very limited schedule due to injury this season and has not had great results so far. Ponchet has had an excellent year, though a majority of her play has been on the ITF circuit. She faces a vulnerable Muchova, who has a losing record on the year but put up a good fight against Tomljanovic at the US Open. While Ponchet is hot and could look to take advantage, the fast courts will help Muchova’s consistency and potential movement disadvantage due to her injury. Most of Ponchet’s success has come on clay and outdoor hard, so it will take a lot to win this. Muchova will look to get back on track and do just enough to finish points quickly with shotmaking and take the match.
Prediction: Muchova in 3
Barbora Krejcikova vs Ajla Tomljanovic
Head-to-head: 1-0 Tomljanovic
This should be a great match with a lot of quick points. Both players are tall and have plenty of power, perfect for a quick indoor hard court. Their one prior meeting was earlier this year at Wimbledon, won by Tomljanovic after losing the first set. Krejcikova has not played well on hard courts of late, losing five of her last seven matches.
The 2021 French Open champion has not had a great year overall in singles, and even lost in the first round trying to defend her title in Paris. Tomljanovic made consecutive quarterfinals in Cincinnati and the US Open, making a deep run as a qualifier in the former event. Tomljanovic plays great at majors but has not been as consistent, but she is in beetter overall form and is stronger on faster surfaces than Krejcikova. The serve of Krejcikova will keep her in it, but Tomljanovic will pull away in the end.
Prediction: Tomljanovic in 3
Madison Keys vs Viktorija Golubic
Head-to-head: 2-1 Golubic
Golubic surprisingly has the historical edge and won their most recent match at 2021 Wimbledon. While Keys had had an inconsistent career, she seems to be in top form right now. On hard courts this year, she has taken a title in Adelaide and made semifinals at the Australian Open and Cincinnati. Golubic has had moderate results at lower levels this year but does not have the firepower to attack top opponents. She played well to qualify for the US Open, but fell to Pegula 2 and 2 in the first round. Her size makes her more defensive focused, but she will have to hit with more power to get Keys out of rhythm. This will be tough to do and the match will end up just like the US Open, with Keys cruising to a quick win.
Prediction: Keys in 2
Main Photo from Getty.