WTA Dubai Day 1 Predictions Including Paula Badosa vs Liudmila Samsonova

Paula Badosa in action ahead of the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships.

The WTA Tour continues its swing of prestigious events in the Middle East with the 2023 WTA Dubai Tennis Championships. Main draw action kicks off on Sunday and even that order of play looks incredibly stacked. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule. But who will come out on top?

WTA Dubai Day 1 Predictions

Ipek Oz vs Marta Kostyuk

Head-to-head: first meeting

Ipek Oz landed a couple of Doha wildcards in 2022 and 2023, now she also gets to play in Dubai. The 23-year-old has only won one match this year so far and while she’s done well to ascend through the ITF Tour in the past couple of seasons, she hasn’t really been competitive at the top level. Last week, she was only able to get two games off Victoria Azarenka. Marta Kostyuk probably will allow her a few more, but it’s hard to see Oz winning this one.

Prediction: Kostyuk in 2
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Jasmine Paolini vs Madison Keys

Head-to-head: first meeting

Jasmine Paolini qualified for the main draw here thanks to a couple of relatively straightforward wins over Margarita Betova and Oceane Dodin. Madison Keys should provide a completely different challenge though. The American was very dangerous in Australia, but lost to Jelena Ostapenko last week in a match that she’ll feel she should have at least kept closer. On a fast hard court against Paolini, it’s possible that her weaponry will just be too overwhelming.

Prediction: Keys in 2
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Zheng Qinwen vs Zhang Shuai

Head-to-head: Zheng 1-0 Zhang

Zheng Qinwen is an incredible talent just on the verge of a breakthrough, but she can’t quite seem to find it. In both her previous matches, she went down in three sets against some top-quality opposition (Maria Sakkari and Liudmila Samsonova). The upside of the 20-year-old should be much higher right now than that of her compatriot’s. If Zheng is firing, there won’t be that much Zhang Shuai can do to stop her, especially with the difference between their serves.

Prediction: Zheng in 3
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Paula Badosa vs Liudmila Samsonova

Head-to-head: Samsonova 2-0 Badosa

A thigh injury kept Paula Badosa out of the Australian Open and the Spaniard has only played one match since, losing to Beatriz Haddad Maia in Doha last week. Meanwhile, Liudmila Samsonova got agonizingly close to a title in Abu Dhabi. The Russian wasted three match points against Belinda Bencic, before getting blown out by Sofia Kenin in the first round at Doha. Now well-rested, it’s the big-hitting Samsonova who should be the favorite of this clash, especially in the quicker Dubai conditions.

Prediction: Samsonova in 3

Main photo credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports