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WTA Madrid Day 1 Predictions Including Anett Kontaveit vs Karolina Muchova

Karolina Muchova French Open

The WTA season is in full swing as, four months into the year, we’ve already had four WTA 1000s–and now we move on to Madrid. On Day 1 at the unpredictable clay-court event, we have some interesting matches including Barbora Strycova’s unexpected return against Elisabetta Cocciaretto and Karolina Muchova’s battle against Anett Kontaveit. As always at LWOT, we’ve tried to predict the outcomes. We split the rest of the day’s matches between two articles. One features Kaia Kanepi vs Shelby Rogers and the second features Maryna Zanevska vs Sofia Kenin. Who do you think will win?

WTA Madrid Day 1 Predictions

Barbora Strycova vs Elisabetta Cocciaretto

Head-to-head: First meeting

Out of nowhere, Barbora Strycova has picked up her racket at the age of 37 to try and contest on the singles circuit once more.

At a tournament that historically hasn’t suited her, against a player suited to the surface, against a player that’s just won a Challenger title in San Luis Potosi, having not played a singles match in over two years–Strycova’s renaissance does not start here.
Prediction: Cocciaretto in 2.

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Katie Volynets vs Linda Fruhvirtova

Head-to-head: First meeting

Linda Fruhvirtova hasn’t blown us away on clay yet. It’s clear there’s an abundance of talent there for hard-courts, having won her first tour title in Chennai last year with her flat strikes. There’s a lack of weight to her shots on this surface, however, plus she won’t be able to take advantage of the altitude with her serve.

It would be easy to dismiss Katie Volynets were it not for her fighting spirit. She’s taken down some big names this year in Potapova, Riske-Amritraj, Kudermetova, and Yastremska (all in three sets). This can’t be ignored in a match where the grittiest competitor could prevail.
Prediction: Volynets in 3.

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Rebecca Marino vs Zhu Lin

Head-to-head: Zhu 3-1 Marino (all levels)

Rebecca Marino has lost to Zhu Lin twice this year already. Their second meeting in 2023 in Monterrey could have went either way–that tournament’s at a similar altitude to Madrid. With neither player particularly suited to clay, it’ll also be about 50/50 here.

Lin maybe has the slight edge given she’ll be less reliant on her serve. There’s not much in it though.
Prediction: Lin in 3.

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Anett Kontaveit vs Karolina Muchova

Head-to-head: Muchova 2-0 Kontaveit

Anett Kontaveit’s indoor form is a distant memory. She’s come close to a few big wins but it’s pretty clear from watching some of her losses this year that her main issue is confidence. To boot, clay is her least favourite surface.

If Karolina Muchova is healthy, this is a terrible match-up given the Czech has the weight of shot and the steadiness to excel on clay at altitude. Coming off quarterfinal runs in Doha and Indian Wells (plus a promising run of four matches through Miami qualifying to the round of 32), we have no reason to believe Muchova won’t turn up.
Prediction: Muchova in 2.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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