WTA Abu Dhabi Day 1 Predictions Including Danielle Collins vs Jelena Ostapenko

Danielle Collins in action ahead of the WTA Abu Dhabi Open.

The 2023 WTA Abu Dhabi Open has an extremely strong field. The best example of that is world #37 Aliaksandra Sasnovich having to start from the qualifying draw (and she’s already lost too). On Monday, the main phase of the event kicks in with four singles matches. Who do you think will advance?

WTA Abu Dhabi Day 1 Predictions

Anett Kontaveit vs Zhang Shuai

Head-to-head: Kontaveit 3-2 Zhang

This has been a very exciting (and even) rivalry over the years with the two splitting their 2022 meetings. Anett Kontaveit won in Sydney,¬† Zhang Shuai exacted her revenge in Cincinnati. Who takes it this time? It’s hard to tell as both can be really up-and-down. Zhang had the big Australian Open run, but she’s also coming off a loss to Maryna Zanevska with just two games going her way. After that performance, it’s going to be hard to bounce back.

Prediction: Kontaveit in 3
Embed from Getty Images

Elise Mertens vs Martina Trevisan

Head-to-head: first meeting

Elise Mertens isn’t at the peak of her powers right now, but she did have a strong run at the Australian Open, just couldn’t do much against this version of Aryna Sabalenka (no one could until the final). On hard courts, she should have a clear edge over Martina Trevisan, whose ranking is basically built on that great three-week stretch she had last spring on clay (Rabat title plus Roland Garros semifinals). She’s not the worst hardcourt player in the world, but she’s also quite far off a top-30 level on the surface.

Prediction: Mertens in 2
Embed from Getty Images

Marta Kostyuk vs Sorana Cirstea

Head-to-head: Cirstea 1-0 Kostyuk

Marta Kostyuk was playing well in Hua Hin and managed to set up a blockbuster quarterfinal against Bianca Andreescu. Unfortunately, that match wasn’t really going as she planned, at least until she was down 0-6 1-5 and started swinging more freely to almost take the second set. Sorana Cirstea is way past her prime, but she remains a very solid tour-level player. She can’t really match Kostyuk’s flashy peak at the moment, but will the Ukrainian bring it? That remains to be seen.

Prediction: Kostyuk in 3
Embed from Getty Images

Danielle Collins vs Jelena Ostapenko

Head-to-head: Ostapenko 1-0 Collins

The highlight of the day features two women who were only stopped by eventual runner-up Elena Rybakina at the Australian Open. Danielle Collins even took a set, but it wasn’t actually that close with the Kazakh once again being very dominant in the decider. Who takes this one in Abu Dhabi? It seems like a virtual flip of the coin with the two hard-hitters surely in for a real battle for who gets to control the rallies. Ostapenko takes time away better, Collins needs a bit of it to set up her brilliant backhand. Maybe that’s an advantage the Latvian can abuse.

Prediction: Ostapenko in 3

Main photo:  Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports