WTA Madrid Day 3 Predictions Including Sorana Cirstea vs Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka in action ahead of the WTA Madrid Open.

Day three at the 2023 WTA Madrid Open promises plenty of interesting action across the 16 second-round matchups. Five top 10 players will be in action on the clay courts at the Caja Magica and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Linda Fruhvirtova vs Ons Jabeur and Caroline Garcia vs Yulia Putintseva. But who will come out on top?

WTA Madrid Day 3 Predictions

Donna Vekic vs Rebeka Masarova

Head-to-head: first meeting

Donna Vekic sits 23rd in the WTA rankings after an impressive start to the season. The Croatian reached the last eight of the Australian Open and the event in Linz, before claiming the Monterrey title last month. The 26-year-old has had a quieter run since, losing three of her last five matches – including a third-set tiebreak defeat to Karolina Pliskova in Stuttgart last week.

Rebeka Masarova brings clay court form into this match, having finished as runner-up at the Oeiras ITF event last week. The 23-year-old wildcard overcame fellow Spaniard Cristina Bucsa 6-3 5-7 6-4 in the opening round in Madrid. But Vekic’s aggressive style should suit the Madrid conditions and give her the edge against the world #74.

Prediction: Vekic in 3
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Jule Niemeier vs Petra Kvitova

Head-to-head: Kvitova 1-0 Niemeier

World #67 Jule Niemeier earned just her fourth win in 15 WTA-level matches in 2023 by beating Wang Xinyu 6-4 6-2 in the opening round in Madrid. Petra Kvitova impressively claimed the Miami Open title for the loss of a single set in her most recent outing. The Czech is yet to compete on clay this year, but she is also a three-time Madrid Open champion (2011, 2015, 2018). While Niemeier’s power game is a good fit for Madrid, Kvitova’s stellar record at the event and form this year should see her past the 23-year-old German. The 33-year-old Czech also won 6-2 6-1 when the pair faced off in St. Petersburg in February 2022, which further diminishes what little confidence one might have had in Niemeier.

Prediction: Kvitova in 2
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Arantxa Rus vs Maria Sakkari

Head-to-head: Sakkari 4-0 Rus

Artantxa Rus has largely competed at ITF level this season and picked up a title in Anapoima, Colombia on clay last month. The 32-year-old Dutchwoman downed Carlota Martinez Cirez and Anna-Lena Friedsam to qualify for the WTA 1000 event, before a fine 7-5 6-2 triumph over Amanda Anisimova in the first round.

Maria Sakkari, meanwhile has lost three straight matches since reaching the Indian Wells semifinals last month, including an opening round defeat to Karolina Pliskova in Stuttgart last week. The world #9 has dropped just a single set in four meetings with Rus, though that came in their most recent clash in Parma on clay last year. The 27-year-old Greek will likely return to winning ways against an opponent she has dominated, though Rus’ form could make it tricky.

Prediction: Sakkari in 3
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Sorana Cirstea vs Aryna Sabalenka

Head-to-head: Cirstea 1-0 Sabalenka

After a tough start to 2023, Sorana Cirstea put together a superb ‘Sunshine Double’ by reaching the quarterfinals in Indian Wells and the semifinals in Miami. The Romanian upset Sabalenka 6-4 6-4 in the quarterfinals of that Miami run in her only prior meeting with the Belarusian star. Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka has had a fantastic season so far, reaching the finals at four of her six events and reaching at least the quarterfinals at each. The Belarusian won the Madrid Open in 2021, but lost in the opening round in her other three appearances. The 24-year-old’s serve and immense power should see her avenge her recent defeat to the 33-year-old Romanian, who is a two-time Madrid Open quarterfinalist.

Prediction: Sabalenka in 3

Main photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports