The first round of the Australian Open wraps up on Day 2. We get to see 32 women’s matches across the grounds in Melbourne, in the more wide-open half of the draw. As always, we here at LWOT share our thoughts on all the matches with you. We split the day’s matches between eight different articles. Our other articles feature Aryna Sabalenka vs Tereza Martincova, Daria Kasatkina vs Varvara Gracheva, Karolina Pliskova vs Xiyu Wang, Anett Kontaveit vs Julie Grabher, Mayar Sherif vs Magda Linette, Leylah Fernandez vs Alize Cornet, and Ons Jabeur vs Tamara Zidansek. Predicting this set of matches are Jim Smith, Glenys Furness, and Shane Black. Who do you think will win?
Australian Open Day 2 Women’s Predictions
Katie Volynets vs Evgeniya Rodina
Volynets had to work hard to come through the qualifying, but gritted out three tough three-set wins. Her reward is what looks like a winnable first-round clash with Evgeniya Rodina. The Russian is ranked 445th in the world and though she is a better player than that ranking suggests, Volynets should still have enough to get the better of Rodina.
Prediction: Volynets in 3
Volynets has plenty of matches under her belt in the lead up to the Australian Open. The American came through qualifying in Auckland and made the main draw. Volynets drew Venus Williams in the first round and forced a tiebreak first set. Unfortunately, after losing the tiebreak Volynets was outplayed by Williams. In only her second Australian Open the American is looking to progress further than last year where she was knocked out in the first round
Rodina did not play the first Grand Slam of the season last year. She had been absent from the tour for a couple of years. Making her comeback at the US Open, before losing in the first round. 2019 was the last time Rodina played at the Australian Open and lost in the first round. This will be an interesting match up as the pair have not played each other before.
Prediction: Volynets in 2
Katie Volynets spent six hours and 58 minutes on-court during her three, three-set qualifying victories. These matches have given her comfort on the Melbourne courts. Evgeniya Rodina, on the other hand, has played just five professional matches over the past three seasons. Volynets’ form should lead her to victory.
Prediction: Volynets in 3
Lauren Davis vs Danka Kovinic
Davis had an excellent week in Hobart, coming through the qualifying and going on to win the title without dropping a set. Kovinic also made a good start to the season, reaching the semifinals in Auckland, but she was beaten there for the loss of just two games by Coco Gauff and then withdrew ahead of her first-round match in Hobart. Davis should have the edge here.
Prediction: Davis in 2
Davis comes in to the Australian Open on the back of a title. The American won in Hobart, after trouncing her opponent in the tiebreak, then breaking to win the second at a canter. Davis also trails the head to head. The American lost in the first round last year at the Grand Slam event.
Kovinic started her preparations in Auckland where she made the semi final. Coco Gauff ended her fine run there and dominated the match, the Montenegrin only managed two games in the match. Kovinic then withdrew from the event in Hobart to concentrate on preparations for the grand slam. The Montenegrin made the third round last year so will be eager to equal or better this. Kovinic leads the head to head
Prediction: Kovinic in 2
Lauren Davis advanced out of the qualifying rounds to win the title in Hobart last week. She did not drop a set in seven matches. I like her early season success to continue.
Prediction: Davis in 3
Donna Vekic vs Oksana Selekhmeteva
Selekhmeteva is one to watch for the future. The 20-year-old looked very sharp in the qualifying, dropping only a handful of games in beating Vitalia Diatchenko, Ann Li, and Sophie Chang. If she can maintain that level, expect her to have too much for Donna Vekic, with the Croatian not the force she once was.
Prediction: Selekhmeteva in 2
Vekic has not played a warm up event for the Australian Open, and has not played her opponent before. However the Croatian is the higher ranked player. Vekic was knocked out in the first round last year, but made the fourth round the year before. Injury had forced the drop in rankings and lack of playing time, before the Croat was able to make a comeback.
Selekhmeteva played an ITF warm up event and came through qualifying to the main draw. Brit Katie Boulter stopped her progressing any further, and Boulter went on to win the tournament. So not a bad start for Selekhmeteva.
Prediction Vekic in 3
Donna Vekic looked very solid in three singles matches at the United Cup. She should get some pushback from 20-year-old Olga Selekhmeteva, but I believe Vekic’s experience will win out.
Prediction: Vekic in 3
Sorana Cirstea vs Yulia Putintseva
This could probably go either way, but Putintseva has probably played the better tennis so far this season. It’s a small sample size, but the Kazakh did look sharp in reaching the quarterfinals in Adelaide last week, even if she will be disappointed by the way she lost to Anna Blinkova.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Cirstea has not had the best of starts to the season. Losing in the second round in Adelaide 1, before making it to the main draw in Adelaide 2, only to lose in the first round. The Romanian will be desparate to at least equal her showing here last year of the fourth round. Cirstea has met her opponent five previous times, unfortunately she doesn’t lead the head to head.
Putintseva was the eighth seed in Hobart and made it to the quarter final before losing out in straight sets. The Kazakh has the upper hand in the head to head against her Romanian opponent. However, Putintseva didn’t get beyond the first round last year, and will be on a mission to do better, especially giving the Hobart quarterfinal.
Prediction: Putinseva in 3
Sorana Cirstea and Yulia Putintseva looks to be one of the most intriguing Round 1 matches. Putintseva holds the 3-2 head-to-head advantage and also looked like the more in-form player in lead-up events. I expect these two to produce high-quality tennis, but I believe Putintseva pulls it out.
Prediction: Putintseva in 3
Main Photo from Getty.