The second week of the WTA season kicks off in Hobart, Australia. Several seeds are in action, including #4 seed Sloane Stephens and #5 seed Anhelina Kalinina. The home crowd will enjoy rooting for Olivia Gadecki who is one of the two Australians in action. We predict all seven of the day’s matches here at Last Word on Tennis, including four of them in a separate article.
WTA Hobart Day 1 Predictions
Anhelina Kalinina vs Rebecca Marino
Head to head: first meeting
Both players are playing their second tournament of the season trying to round into form before the Australian Open. Kalinina cruised through qualifying in Adelaide then fell in two close tiebreaks to Victoria Azarenka. Though she is tall, she has been dangerous on return which will help her against Marino who has a big serve. Marino lost in the second round in Aukland after getting broken six times in her two matches. Both players can play on all courts so neither has a serious advantage on hard. The match will be close between similar players, but Kalinina will be able to get to Marino’s serve just a bit more to make the difference in the match.
Prediction: Kalinina in 3
Xinyu Wang vs Olivia Gadecki
Head to head: first meeting
Gadecki is a young Australian talent who is looking forward to being in front of a home crowd after receiving a wild card entry into the event. Wang is also fortunate to be in the draw after getting in as a Lucky Loser after losing her final round qualifying match. Both players are young and promising, though Wang has had more success in her young career, reaching the top-100 last year while Gadecki sits outside the Top 200 currently. Wang has the size advantage and her big serve has led to her success on hard courts, including an ITF title in her last event of 2022. Gadecki lost her one match at the United Cup 6-2 6-2 and her success has split between hard and clay. Wang’s serve and better experience will allow her to control the match from the start and capture the victory.
Prediction: Wang in 2
Sloane Stephens vs Lauren Davis
Head to head: 2-1 Stephens
Stephens is one of the harder WTA players to predict because her play can be quite inconsistent. Her peak is as good as any player in the world, a contrast to Davis who has had a solid career but never reached the top of the game. While this is the fourth meeting between the two Americans, they have not played since 2015. Davis cruised through qualifying here, winning both her matches in straight sets. Davis’ small stature makes her most dangerous on clay and slower hard courts but Stephens power will present a challenge. Stephens struggled in her one match this year, a loss to Rebeka Masarova, but Davis’ baseline defensive game is very different from the bigger-serving Masarova. Stephens is great on hard courts and will hit through Davis with her variety of tools to win convincingly.
Predictions: Stephens in 2
Main Photo from Getty.