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WTA Auckland Day 1 Predictions Including Venus Williams vs Katie Volynets

Katie Volynets 2022 French Open

The WTA ASB Classic in Auckland will return to the tennis calendar for the 2023 season after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams headlines a busy opening day in New Zealand as the WTA stars gear up in preparation for the Australian Open. We have seven matches on schedule on Day 1, and we predict all of them–including Caty McNally vs Ysaline Bonaventure. Who do you think will come out on top?

WTA Auckland Day 1 Predictions

Zhu Lin vs Madison Brengle

Head-to-head: Lin 1-1 Brengle

Both Zhu Lin and Madison Brengle performed with distinction on the ITF circuit in 2022. They won three titles apiece, with Brengle a tad disappointed the season ended after getting in her groove towards the end of October. The American enters this match as a sizable favorite which just about sounds right, but this is a very difficult match to call from a winner’s perspective.
Prediction: Brengle in 3

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Leylah Ferndandez vs Brenda Fruhvirtova

Head-to-head: first meeting

After a difficult 2022, Leylah Fernandez will start the new season on a clean slate. We thought getting a taste of the spotlight would make her hungrier for more, but it hasn’t been the case. She was beset by a foot injury that ruined her second half of the campaign. Fernandez will play Brenda Fruhvirtova, the younger of the precociously talented Fruhvirtova sisters. The 15-year-old made waves on the ITF Tour last year, winning an impressive eight titles. Fruhvirotva’s talent did not go unnoticed and was the earliest wildcard entrant in Auckland. Fernandez will be expected to hit her strap again, but if she stutters Fruhvirtova will make life difficult for her.
Prediction: Fernandez in 3

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Bernarda Pera vs Viktoria Kuzmova

Head-to-head: Pera 1-1 Kuzmova

Pera enjoyed a fruitful year in 2022, undoubtedly her best at Tour-level, winning two titles and finishing the season with a Top 50 ranking. But she has a potentially tricky opener in Auckland against a former semifinalist. Kuzmova was ranked as high as #43 in 2019, but the pandemic break in 2020 did more harm than good to her development. It has taken her a while to rediscover her game. As far as upsets go in the opening day, Pera could be in danger. Kuzmova, lest we forget, is an experienced player, and having played two qualifying matches only fuels her potential narrative for an upset.
Prediction: Kuzmova in 3

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Katie Volynets vs Venus Williams

Head-to-head: first meeting

Volynets is only 21 and has been tipped for a breakthrough year by countrywoman Sloane Stephens. She has two ITF titles to her name and is inching closer to entering the Top 100. She received a helping hand from Eugenie Bouchard who withdrew from their scheduled final round of qualifying on Sunday. Her opponent Venus Williams needs no introduction. She is twice her age and is set to pick a racket for a 28th season on the WTA Tour, which is truly astounding. While Williams’ experience is miles ahead of Volynets, her recent record makes for grim reading. She last won a match almost 18 months ago and has only featured in five WTA tournaments since. It wouldn’t come as a shock if the veteran is upstaged by the upstart here.
Prediction: Volynets in 3

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