Day two at the inaugural WTA Merida Open Akron promises plenty of entertainment. There are eight matches on the schedule in Mexico’s Yucatan state and, as always, we here at LWOT are offering our predictions for all of them, including Sloane Stephens vs Leolia Jeanjean. Who do you think will come out on top?
WTA Merida Day 2 Predictions
Katerina Siniakova vs Lesia Tsurenko
Head-to-head: Tsurenko 2-0 Siniakova
Katerina Siniakova had a great run in Adelaide, coming through qualifying and nearly shocking Caroline Garcia in the Round of 16. But that’s as good as it got in singles competition. Tsurenko, by contrast, is back in the top 100 following her runner-up finish in Hua Hin. The Ukranian veteran scaled the qualifying hurdle at the weekend beating Lucrezia Stefanini in three sets. Siniakova might take time to find her rhythm in this one. And with Tsurenko having built belief back in her game, she could have the upper hand.
Prediction: Tsurenko in 3
Jule Niemeier vs Panna Udvardy
Head-to-head: first meeting
Niemeier is only 2-6 for the year, but there has been at least a couple of matches she should have feasibly put to bed. Defeats to Osorio in Lyon and Potapova in Linz spring to mind. Not to mention the first round of the Australian Open where she gave Iga Swiatek a run for her money. Panna Udvardy, meanwhile, is not in great form. The big-hitting German should routinely get through here.
Prediction: Niemeier in 2
Rebecca Peterson vs Nadia Podoroska
Head-to-head: first meeting
Nadia Podoroska joined the winner’s circle earlier this month. She won the 125K level tournament in Cali. She has since played a couple of ITF tournaments in Mexico, making the quarterfinal in one and a semifinal in the other. Rebecca Peterson, meanwhile, has qualified for this event with a topsy-turvy three-set win over Carol Zhao. The Swede took a medical timeout in that match and had her left quad strapped. On hard courts, Peterson has more potential in her game. If fitness is not an issue, the qualifier should progress.
Prediction: Peterson in 3
Magda Linette vs Camila Osorio
Head-to-head: Osorio 1-0 Linette
Magda Linette is the top seed in Merida, playing for the first time since Melbourne. Linette put together a tremendous run at last month’s Australian Open where she reached a maiden Grand Slam semifinal. Her consistency, composure, and ability to manage pressure gave her the blueprint to score big wins over the likes of Caroline Garcia and Karolina Pliskova before bowing out to eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka. This being her first match back only adds to the intrigue.
In the time she was away, Camila Osorio made the last four in Lyon. The Colombian is a player whose career stalled in 2022. But she has made an encouraging start to the new season, beaten only by top-10 opposition. Osorio thrives while playing in this part of the continent, so this could be a potential banana peel for the top-seeded Pole.
Prediction: Osorio in 3
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports