There are ten WTA singles matches on the Tuesday schedule at the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open. One of the most exciting ones is the clash between Kaia Kanepi and Shelby Rogers. Both players are habitually underrated and have always been capable of producing incredible wins. Which one will turn out to be stronger on this particular day? As always, we look at all the matches. We split the rest of the day’s matches between two articles. One features Anett Kontaveit vs Karolina Muchova and the second features Maryna Zanevska vs Sofia Kenin. Who do you think will win?
WTA Madrid Day 1 Predictions
Jule Niemeier vs Xinyu Wang
Head-to-head: First meeting
Jule Niemeier continues to be a pretty baffling player. The contrast between her performances at the last three Grand Slam events and the 3-12 win/loss record she possesses this year is pretty immense. Her last two showings were great though – first, she beat Beatriz Haddad Maia in a Billie Jean King Cup rubber, then lost a tight two-setter to Elena Rybakina, both in Stuttgart. These quicker clay conditions should be nice for her and as it’s Xinyu Wang’s first clay match of the year, maybe Niemeier can grab a rare win?
Prediction: Niemeier in 2
Yulia Putintseva vs Claire Liu
Head-to-head: Putinsteva 1-0
Claire Liu definitely has the potential to become a pretty exceptional clay player in the future and she managed to pick up a few incredible results on the dirt last year – title at the 125K in Paris or the final in the WTA 250 event in Rabat. With Yulia Putinsteva being far from impressive this year so far, the opportunity is there for the American to make it at least to the second round in her Madrid debut. She needs to be careful though, because the scrappy Kazakh is a player that often manages to punch above her weight.
Prediction: Liu in 3
Kaia Kanepi vs Shelby Rogers
Head-to-head: Kanepi 2-1
It’s a nice matchup between two players who are famous for their knack for upsets. Neither winning here would be too much of a shock, but one does seem to have a pretty clear edge. Kaia Kanepi is coming closer and closer to the end of her playing days at almost 38 years of age, so it wouldn’t be surprising if her decline sped up. That’s what it seems like this year as she just can’t seem to get herself going. Shelby Rogers has simply been doing much better of late and should be taking this one home.
Prediction: Rogers in 2
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports