It’s Day 4 at the WTA 1000 in Madrid and things are heating up. Barbora Krejcikova will be looking to remind everybody how she won the French Open in 2021 against Danka Kovinic whilst Victoria Azarenka is due to clash against up-and-coming American star Alycia Parks. As always at LWOT, we’ve looked to predict these matches and more.
WTA Madrid Day 4 Predictions
Victoria Azarenka vs Alycia Parks
Head-to-head: First meeting
Chaotic numbers on serve are the point to discuss going into Alycia Parks’ sixth clay match of the year. She’s averaged below 50% first serves in on the surface so far this year and her ace and double fault rate have been exceptionally high. When her serve been neutralised, she’s not been particularly successful with only Anna Schmiedlova proving a welcome exception to the rule in her previous round.
Vika Azarenka may not have made the quarterfinals in over ten years but that doesn’t mean she’s weak here with every loss coming against respectably ranked players. She has the return and rally prowess to own this match-up.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2
Petra Martic vs Laura Siegemund
Head-to-head: First meeting
Laura Siegemund has done a great job coming through qualifying to get to the second round in Madrid. She’s given her opponents very little to work with, using her solid rally temperament to demand a level from them that they haven’t been able to respond to.
Petra Martic shouldn’t have the same troubles. She’s an extremely competent hitter of the ball that should have a high enough base level to dispatch Siegemund.
Prediction: Martic in 2
Caty McNally vs Qinwen Zheng
Head-to-head: McNally 1-0 Zheng (all levels)
There had been very few signs Caty McNally was a comfortable clay court player before this year. Though the cues have been subtle, there have been some encouraging signs in Charleston and her first round in Madrid.
Whatever the improvements, however, nothing spells danger like Qinwen Zheng in these conditions. The main threats she poses are a huge first serve that flies at altitude and a potent and heavy forehand that kicks off the surface. This is a pretty unlucky first round for McNally.
Prediction: Zheng in 2
Barbora Krejcikova vs Danka Kovinic
Head-to-head: Krejcikova 1-0 Kovinic (all levels)
Danka Kovinic is a strong clay courter. The problem is she doesn’t have the overall game to earn her a position at the biggest events in the world–if her serve were stronger, she’d be winning more matches on hard-court, giving her more opportunities to play WTA 1000s and the French Open on her favourite surface. She got to the French Open third round last year (losing to Iga Swiatek) and won four matches to before losing to Mertens last time she played Rome in 2020 (one other loss at the event in 2016).
Unfortunately, despite the clay, the lack of serve leaves her a bit exposed in Madrid. Barbora Krejcikova will win free points for days using her slider and can match Kovinic from the back of the court. We anticipate her starting a little cold against an undervalued opponent but inevitably finding the level to defeat the Montenegrin.
Prediction: Krejcikova in 3
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports